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Man who shot Pope John Paul II released from prison

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by Mchaga, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. Mchaga

    Mchaga JF-Expert Member

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    The Turkish man who shot Pope John Paul II in 1981 was released from prison on Monday after more than 29 years behind bars.

    Mehmet Ali Agca waved to journalists as he left the prison in a white sedan car in a convoy of several vehicles. He was taken to a military hospital to be assessed for compulsory military service. A 2006 military hospital report said he is not fit for military service because of a "severe anti-social personality disorder."

    There have been long-standing questions about the 52-year-old Agca's mental health based on his frequent outbursts and claims that he was the Messiah.

    In a statement on Monday, distributed by his lawyer outside the prison in Sincan on the outskirts of Ankara, the Turkish capital, he raved again: "I proclaim the end of the world. All the world will be destroyed in this century. Every human being will die in this century. ... I am the Christ eternal."

    Agca is undergoing medical examination at a psychatry department of the military hospital, GATA, said a lawyer, Melahat Uzunoglu.

    "I don't think he will serve in the military," Uzunoglu said, adding that the medical exam could take several hours. Dozens of journalists and TV crews gathered outside the entrance of the military hospital, although his lawyers said he is not likely to speak on Monday.

    Agca shot John Paul on May 13, 1981, as the pope rode in an open car in St. Peter's Square. The pontiff was hit in the abdomen, left hand and right arm, but the bullets missed vital organs. John Paul met with Agca in Italy's Rebibbia prison in 1983 and forgave him for the shooting.

    Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said there were no plans to comment on the release. Robert Necek, spokesman for Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow, Poland, who served as secretary to John Paul II, also would not comment.

    The motive for the attack remains unclear but has not been linked to Islamic issues.

    When Agca was arrested minutes after the attack, he declared he had acted alone. Later, he suggested Bulgaria and the Soviet Union's KGB were behind the attack, but then backed off that line. His contradictory statements have frustrated prosecutors over the decades.

    Agca has said that he will answer questions about the attack after he is released from prison. His lawyer said he would not speak on Monday but would rest in Ankara. Agca is expected to travel to Istanbul later, private NTV television said.

    "We are not running away from the media, he may speak in a few days," lawyer Gokay Gultekin said.
     
  2. O

    Omumura JF-Expert Member

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    Jan 18, 2010
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    Huyo jamaa KGB wameshamfanya chizi tayari, atakufa tu kama mnyama!
     
  3. MziziMkavu

    MziziMkavu JF-Expert Member

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    Jan 19, 2010
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    Bizarre story of Pope's failed assassin


    By Jonathan Head
    BBC News, Istanbul
    [​IMG]

    It is one of the abiding images of the last century.
    Late in the afternoon of 13 May 1981, the most charismatic pope of modern times was touring St Peter's Square in his Popemobile before giving his weekly address.
    In those days, it was an open-top vehicle offering little protection. But at the time, few thought any protection was needed.
    Pope John Paul II was reaching out to the crowd, picking up small children and kissing them.
    [​IMG] Agca's motive for shooting the Pope remains a mystery

    Several shots rang out. The Pope stood, looking stunned, for a moment, then collapsed into the arms of his personal secretary, blood seeping from his abdomen.
    He was rushed to hospital, where, after five hours of surgery and losing three quarters of his blood, he narrowly survived.
    A photograph captured the moment, a hand holding a gun seen clearly pointing out from the crowd. The would-be assassin was quickly caught at the scene. He was a young, good-looking Turkish man named Mehmet Ali Agca.
    Twenty-nine years later, a now grey-haired Agca was driven away from the high-security prison outside Ankara where he has spent the past four years.
    Aside from some military bureaucracy - he is still technically liable for Turkish military service - he is a free man. But his motive for shooting the Pope remains a mystery.
    Ultra-nationalist
    Initial investigations by the Italian police revealed he was a member of an ultra-nationalist group, the Grey Wolves, which was involved in a violent confrontation in Turkey with leftist groups in the late 1970s, which left thousands dead.
    [​IMG] MEHMET ALI AGCA
    Escaped from Turkish prison while awaiting trial for murder of newspaper editor in 1979
    In July 1981, sentenced to life imprisonment in Italy for attempting to kill Pope John Paul
    Pardoned at Pope's request in June 2000, extradited to Turkey
    Convicted for murder, robberies and prison escape, served time in Turkish jail
    Released on parole in January 2006
    Ruled "unfit for military service" because of "advanced anti-social personality disorder"
    Returned to jail after eight days after court ruled jail term miscalculated

    He had escaped from prison in Istanbul in November 1979 while on trial for the murder of a liberal newspaper editor, and was later sentenced to death in absentia.
    He had wandered through several European countries before arriving in Italy three days before the shooting.
    But that is where the facts run dry, and the conspiracy theories begin.
    Under questioning, he, at first, said he was linked to a militant Palestinian group. Later, he blamed the Bulgarian secret service and the Soviet KGB for organising the assassination attempt.
    It was a plausible enough hypothesis. Pope John Paul was an outspoken opponent of communism, and had become an inspiration to the dissident Solidarity movement in his native Poland.
    This led to the prosecution of three Bulgarians and four Turkish nationals.
    But Agca's increasingly wild testimony, in which he claimed to be a reincarnation of Jesus Christ, undermined the case, and all the defendants were acquitted in 1986.
    He was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1981.
    Papal forgiveness
    The Pope was quick to forgive his assailant, visiting him in prison in 1983 and talking to him for 20 minutes. But he insisted their conversation would remain secret.
    The Pope later described Agca as a trained assassin who could not have been acting alone; but he also believed that both the attempt on his life and his survival were due to divine intervention.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] This, together with the many bizarre claims made by Agca, mean his real story will probably never be known. For a man who may still have many dangerous enemies, that could be his best protection [​IMG]



    He donated the bullet recovered from his abdomen to the shrine in Fatima, Portugal, where he believed the shooting had been foretold by the Virgin Mary to three local girls in 1917.
    Agca had also referred to that prophesy during his trial.
    The Pope's intervention led to Agca being pardoned in 2000, and sent back to Turkey, where his death sentence had been commuted to 10 years in prison.
    He served the rest of the sentence, despite a moment of confusion in 2006 when he was briefly released, and then imprisoned again on the orders of the Turkish Supreme Court.
    He has continued to issue outlandish statements right up to his release, claiming to be a new messiah and predicting the end of the world.
    'Deep-state' networks
    So is he delusional? Not according to those who have spent any time with him. Journalist Mehmet Ali Birand met him three times in his Italian jail cell.
    "He's a balanced guy, he was in control of the situation, in control of himself, but full of conspiracy theories.
    "The impression I got was he was doing this deliberately. He liked playing with the media. He wants to cash in - he believes that if it had not been the Pope, he would not have stayed in prison so long."
    Cashing in is certainly a possibility. Agca's lawyers say he has been offered up to $3m (2.1m euros, £1.8m) by publishers for exclusive rights to his story. But it is still unclear whether that story will have any credibility.
    The other mystery surrounds his Turkish connections.
    The Grey Wolves group, with which he was associated at the time of the shooting, was linked to an underground network known as Gladio.
    This was set up with CIA support in a number of European countries during the Cold War to prepare resistance to a possible Soviet invasion.
    In both Italy and Turkey, Gladio networks are believed to have been behind numerous bombings and assassinations.
    In Italy, the networks have been exposed and dismantled; in Turkey, they are still widely believed to exist as a so-called "deep state", with support from elements of the military.
    There are ongoing trials of dozens of people accused of involvement in illegal, deep-state activities.
    Agca was certainly helped to escape from prison in 1979 by his guards and some well-known underground right-wing figures. He was given false passports and enough funds to enable him to travel around Europe for several months before the attempted assassination.
    The period of Turkey's history just prior to the 1980 military coup is still shrouded in confusion. At the time, the country was in chaos. Groups, both left and right, fought each other, with the alleged involvement of mafia groups and the security forces.
    This, together with the many bizarre claims made by Agca, mean his real story will probably never be known. For a man who may still have many dangerous enemies, that could be his best protection.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8465527.stm
     
  4. MziziMkavu

    MziziMkavu JF-Expert Member

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    Man who shot Pope John Paul II freed from Turkish jail


    [​IMG] Mehmet Ali Agca has left prison after nearly 30 years behind bars.

    The man who tried to kill Pope John Paul II in 1981 has been released from prison in Turkey.
    Mehmet Ali Agca served 19 years in an Italian prison for shooting John Paul, and another 10 years in Turkey for the earlier murder of a newspaper editor.
    Agca's motives for attempting to kill the Pope remain a mystery, although when he was arrested he said he was acting alone.
    In 1983 John Paul announced he had forgiven Agca after meeting him.
    There have been long-standing questions about the mental health of Agca, based on his frequent outbursts and statements that he was a new messiah.
    In a statement issued on his release, he said: "I proclaim the end of the world. All the world will be destroyed in this century. Every human being will die in this century... I am the Christ eternal."
    Turkish media say Agca is now to be taken to a military facility and then to a hospital to be assessed for compulsory military service.
    Contradictory statements
    Agca, 52, had been a member of a Turkish ultra-nationalist group who fled Turkey after killing a newspaper editor.
    He opened fire on Pope John Paul as he was being driven through St Peter's Square in Rome in an open vehicle on 13 May, 1981.
    The Pope was seriously injured in the attack and Agca spent the next 19 years in prison in Italy.
    [​IMG] MEHMET ALI AGCA
    Escaped from Turkish prison while awaiting trial for murder of newspaper editor in 1979
    In July 1981, sentenced to life imprisonment in Italy for attempting to kill Pope John Paul
    Pardoned at Pope's request in June 2000, extradited to Turkey
    Convicted for murder, robberies and prison escape, served time in Turkish jail
    Released on parole in January 2006
    Ruled "unfit for military service" because of "advanced anti-social personality disorder"
    Returned to jail after eight days after court ruled jail term miscalculated

    [​IMG]

    Profile: Mehmet Ali Agca
    Bizarre story of Pope's failed assassin

    He maintained at first that he was acting alone, but over the years frequently changed his story and gave often contradictory statements.
    He had once claimed, for example, that he was under the orders of the Bulgarian secret service.
    A trial lasting 22 months was held in Rome during the 1980s about the alleged Bulgarian connection.
    The accused were all acquitted for lack of proof.
    One of 'great mysteries'
    The BBC's Jonathan Head in Istanbul says that Agca will now have the chance to clear up one of the great mysteries of the last century - what was it that drove him to attempt the assassination of the most influential pope of modern times?
    Agca's lawyers say he has been offered multi-million-dollar deals to tell his story.
    Our correspondent says that after all the bizarre statements he has issued from jail, that story - if he tells it - is unlikely to be convincing.
    He adds that few people believe he could have acted alone, but that whatever he says now, the real story behind the shooting of the Pope will in all likelihood never be known.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8464823.stm
     
  5. MziziMkavu

    MziziMkavu JF-Expert Member

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    Jan 19, 2010
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    Pope gunman jailed 'until 2010'

    [​IMG] Mehmet Ali Agca went back to jail on Friday

    The gunman who shot Pope John Paul II in 1981 will remain in jail until 2010, Turkish prosecutors quoted by the state-owned Anatolia news agency say.
    Last week Turkey's top court had ruled that Mehmet Ali Agca had not spent enough time in jail for killing a Turkish journalist in 1979.
    He was released earlier this month, but was returned to jail after eight days.
    He has spent nearly 25 years in Italian and Turkish jails but has never revealed why he tried to kill the Pope.
    Prosecutors say Agca, 48, must now stay in prison until 18 January 2010, the Anatolia agency reports.
    Turkish Justice Minister Cemil Cicek had appealed against his release earlier this month, arguing that cuts in his original jail term had been miscalculated.
    Mr Cicek said Agca should serve a full 10-year term for the 1979 murder of left-wing Turkish journalist Abdi Ipekci, as well as two bank robberies.
    Mystery motive
    While awaiting trial for the murder of Ipekci, Agca escaped from prison, re-appearing in Rome to shoot at the Pope.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Press outrage at release
    On this day: Pope shot
    Mysteries linger over attack


    The critically wounded pontiff underwent emergency surgery for serious wounds to the abdomen and hand. According to his own account, he only just survived.
    The Pope met his attacker two years later in an Italian prison, when he publicly forgave him.
    There were claims that the Soviet KGB and its Bulgarian counterpart were behind the assassination attempt, but prosecutors at a trial in 1986 failed to prove a link to the Bulgarian secret service.
    On a 2002 visit to Sofia, John Paul II said he had never believed in a Bulgarian link to the shooting.
    The Russians have always maintained that the KGB was not responsible, even indirectly, for the attempt on the pontiff's life.
    John Paul II died in April 2005 at the age of 84.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4639432.stm
     
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