Turk Who Shot Pope in 1981 to Be Released From Prison





Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turkish gunman who shot and wounded Pope John Paul II in 1981, has finished serving a prison term in Istanbul on charges in another case and will be freed this week, the semiofficial Anatolia news agency reported Sunday.
Mr. Agca served 19 years in Italy for shooting the pope and then was sent back to Turkey, in 2000, and has been in prison since then for killing Abdi Ipekci, a newspaper editor, in 1979.

Italy pardoned Mr. Agca in 1999, and the Vatican endorsed clemency. John Paul forgave him from his hospital bed in 1981 and visited him in his cell in 1983. Mr. Agca requested special permission to attend the pope's funeral in April, but Turkey denied his request.



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