Monday, January 18, 2010

Mehmet Ali Ağca

Today news of the release of Mehmet Ali Agca is all over the news media. Apparently he will discuss his assassination attempt on the late Pontiff John Paul II. I am curious to hear what he has to say though I must confess skepticism in regards to his motives.

Man who tried to kill Pope John Paul II released

By Hamdi Istanbullu, REUTERS ANKARA, Turkey

The man who tried to kill Pope John Paul II, Mehmet Ali Agca, was released from prison in the Turkish capital Ankara on Monday, nearly 30 years after the assassination attempt in St. Peter's Square. Agca served 19 years in an Italian prison for the attack, before being pardoned on the pope's initiative in 2000 and extradited to serve asentence in Turkey for other crimes including the 1979 murder of a newspaper editor. Agca, 52, left the prison compound in a four-car convoy, obscured behind tinted glass windows, although he was seen waving as he got into one of the vehicles inside the compound. One of his lawyers said Agca was being taken to a military installation for medical tests to determine whether he should do military service. Questions have been raised about his mental health in the past. "I am expecting him to be released after the military hospital check-up," lawyer Gokay Gultekin told Reuters. Agca's motives for shooting and wounding the pope at the Vatican in 1981 remain shrouded in mystery. Some believe he was working for Soviet-era East European security services alarmed by the Polish-born pontiff's fierce opposition to communism. Pope John Paul II died in 2005. In a statement issued last week, Agca said he would answer questions on the attack in the coming weeks, including whether the Soviet and Bulgarian governments were involved.

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