Pope John Paul II gunman may return to prison

[JURIST] Turkey's Minister of Justice Cemil Cicek said Friday that Mehmet Ali Agca [Wikipedia profile], the Turkish gunman who shot Pope John Paul II [official website] in 1981, may have mistakenly been released from prison eleven months early for the murder of Turkish journalist Abdi Ipekci [profile]. Agca shot the Pope after escaping from a Turkish military prison in 1979, where he was serving a 36-year sentence Ipekci's murder. Agca spent 19 years and one month of a 20-year sentence in prison in Italy for shooting the Pope before his extradition to Turkey in 2000 to finish the 36-year sentence [BBC report], and was released on parole [JURIST report] Thursday for good behavior. Agca will remain free until an appeals court reviews the case to see if the prison erred in freeing him. If an error occurred, Agca will have to return to jail to finish the remaining eleven months of his sentence. Pope John Paul pardoned Agca for his actions five days after his shooting and again when he met with Agca in prison two-and-a-half years after the attack. Agca may still face charges [JURIST report] for evading military service or be forced to enlist in the military, which accepts conscripts under the age of 41. AP has more.

 

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