Turkish court orders Pope gunman back to prison

[JURIST] A Turkish appeals court on Friday ordered Mehmet Ali Agca [Wikipedia profile], the man who shot Pope John Paul II [official website] in 1981, to return to prison and Agca was subsequently taken into custody in Istanbul. Agca was serving a 36-year sentence for murdering Turkish journalist Abdi Ipekci [profile] when he escaped from prison and shot the Pope in 1981. He then served 19 years of a life sentence in Italy for shooting the pontiff before being pardoned at the Pope's behest [CNN report] in 2000 and was extradited back to Turkey to complete his sentence. Agca was released on parole [JURIST report] earlier this month for good behavior, but Turkish Justice Minister Cemil Cicek asked the court [JURIST report] to return Agca to prison, arguing that time served in Italy should not be deducted from his sentence. The Turkish Supreme Court of Appeals of Criminal Department overturned the decision to release the would-be assassin, stating there was "no legal basis" to deduct Agca's time served in Italy. It is unknown how long Agca will remain in jail in Turkey, as he may face charges for robbing a factory and commandeering a vehicle in 1979 in addition to his remaining murder sentence. AP has more.

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