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On Release, Man Who Shot Pope John Paul II Raves Again

Pope John Paul II converses with his would-be assassin, Turkish terrorist Mehmet Ali Agca, in Agca's i i

The pope forgave Agca. (1983 file photo. Arturo Mari/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Arturo Mari/AP
Pope John Paul II converses with his would-be assassin, Turkish terrorist Mehmet Ali Agca, in Agca's

The pope forgave Agca. (1983 file photo.

Arturo Mari/AP

On his release from a Turkish prison today, Mehmet Ali Agca — who shot Pope John Paul II on May 13, 1981 — released a statement saying, in part, that:

"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."

As NPR's Sylvia Poggioli says, he "revived his courtroom ravings":

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The Guardian reminds its readers that "Agca served 19 years in an Italian prison for the attack before being pardoned at the pope's behest in 2000. He was extradited to serve a sentence in Turkey for other crimes, including the 1979 murder of a newspaper editor."

Now, the AP adds, the 52-year-old Agca will be "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.' "

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