Man who shot Pope released from prison in Turkey

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mehmet Ali Ağca, the man who was convicted of shooting Pope John Paul II in 1981, was released from a prison in Turkey today, after serving nineteen years for the attempted murder of the Pope, and another ten years for the killing of a newspaper editor.

Ağca's motives for the attempted assassination of the Pope are not clear, although he said he was acting alone after he was arrested. Two years after the shooting, 1983, the Pope said that he had forgiven Ağca after meeting with him.

Ağca's mental health has been called into question, and a 2006 military hospital report said he had "severe anti-social personality disorder". He was reportedly taken to be assessed for compulsory military service after being released.

"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," Ağca said upon his release.