Shooter of former Pope John Paul II released from prison

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Thursday, January 12, 2006

Pope John Paul II in St Peter's Sqaure.

Mehmet Ali Agca, jailed in 1981 for shooting and injuring former Pope John Paul II in Rome has been released from Turkish prison. A Turkish court had determined that he had already completed his sentence with time served.

Agca shot the Pope as he rode around St Peter's Square in a open-topped car. Agca was a Turkish militant who was a member of the nationalist Grey Wolves; however, his motives for the shooting remain unclear.

Agca was sentenced to life in prison in Italy, before being pardoned by former Pope John Paul II in 2000 and extradited to Turkey to serve jail time for the murder of Abdi Ipekci, a journalist. Turkish citizens were outraged that he served only four and a half years for murder.


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