Skip to comments.John Paul II's assailant freed
Posted on 01/12/2006 3:18:51 PM PST by Aussie Dasher
MEHMET Ali Agca, the Turk who attempted to kill pope John Paul II in 1981, was freed yesterday after almost 25 years behind bars, but may soon return to jail amid legal confusion over his early release.
Less than six hours after Agca walked out of the high-security Kartal prison on Istanbul's Asian shore, Justice Minister Cemil Cicek said he would order a review of the case as a debate raged among jurists over whether his release was legally sound.
Mr Cicek hinted that the 48-year-old Agca, who served 19 years in Italy for shooting and seriously wounding the pope and was convicted for separate crimes in Turkey, including the 1979 murder of prominent journalist Abdi Ipekci, might be put back in jail.
"The fact that he (Agca) was released today does not constitute a reserved right for that person," Mr Cicek said, describing the case as "extremely complicated".
"In order to eradicate the doubts, I will use my right to a written order" to the Court of Appeals to review the case, he said.
Former justice minister Hikmet Sami Turk, who oversaw Agca's extradition to Turkey in 2000, and Ipekci family lawyer Turgut Kazan both condemned his release as a grave judicial error.
He should be released in 2012 at the earliest, even if he is entitled to the most favourable reductions and amendments, Mr Turk said.
Wearing a blue sweater and jeans, a gaunt and greying Agca emerged from the main building of Kartal jail surrounded by a dozen armed soldiers.
With a solemn look on his face, the former member of the notorious far-right Grey Wolves climbed into a white car as nationalist sympathisers showered the vehicle with red and yellow flowers.
He was taken straight to an army recruitment office because the authorities still accuse him of evading military service, which is compulsory for all Turkish men over 18.
I hope God rapidly ensures Turkey gets admitted into the E.U !!!! That'll teach 'em to mess with America
Seems we kept that in the medicine chest when I was growing up.
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