1.27.2006

That's Not Fair! He Didn't Get a Chance To Even Wound the New One Yet! Dammit!

Would-Be Papal Assassin Ordered Back to Prison in Turkey

from Catholic News Service

The Turkish terrorist who shot and seriously wounded Pope John Paul II was ordered to return to prison, where he was expected to remain for several years.

On Jan. 20, the Turkish Supreme Court overturned a lower court's release of Agca eight days earlier. Agca’s release had prompted widespread criticism in Turkey and around the world.

Agca, 48, was apprehended by police at his home and offered no resistance when he was taken back into custody. As he entered a police station in Istanbul, he shouted in several languages, "I am Messiah. I am not the Son of God, I am Messiah," according to Turkish news reports. Agca has frequently made wild and fanatical claims to the press and to justice officials.

Agca had served 19 years in Italian prisons for shooting the pope in 1981. He was extradited in 2000 to Turkey, where he served five years for the 1979 murder of a liberal Turkish newspaper editor.

In early January, a Turkish court cited new penal laws and the time served in Italy and said Agca could be set free. Prosecutors appealed the decision, and the Supreme Court said there was no legal basis for deducting the time Agca spent in Italian prisons from his sentence in Turkey.

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