1.08.2006

The Popeslayer: Back in Business!



Report: Man Who Shot Pope To Be Freed

from The Associated Press

ANKARA, Turkey - A court has approved the release from prison the man who shot Pope John Paul II in 1981, saying he completed his sentence for crimes he committed in Turkey, the semiofficial Anatolia news agency reported Sunday.

Mehmet Ali Agca was extradited to Turkey in 2000 after serving almost 20 years in Italy for shooting and wounding the pope in St. Peter's Square in Rome. His motive for the attack remains unclear.

Agca, 47, was expected to be released as early as Monday. Anatolia said he was expected to be immediately enlisted by the military for obligatory service because he had dodged the draft, Anatolia said.

His lawyer and family said they were not aware of the court decision.

"I'm surprised," his lawyer, Dogan Yildirim, told The Associated Press. "If its true, justice will finally be served. He has been in prison for so long."

Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said the Vatican would defer to the judgement of the Turkish tribunal.

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