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Pope John Paul II shooter to be released from Turkish prison

[JURIST] The man who shot Pope John Paul II [official website] in 1981 will be released on parole from prison Thursday after a Turkish court ruled that he has completed his sentences for shooting the pope and other crimes. The Vatican [official website] expressed surprise at the news, saying it only learned of the release of Mehmet Ali Agca [Wikipedia profile] through news agencies, but said it would defer to the decision of the Turkish court. Agca served almost 20 years in an Italian prison for the shooting of Pope John Paul before being sent back to his native Turkey in 2000 to serve additional time [BBC report] for murdering a Turkish journalist in 1979. Pope John Paul had pardoned Agca for his actions five days after the shooting and again when the pontiff met with Agca in prison two and a half years after the attack. AP has more. From Turkey, Aksam has local coverage.

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