The man who tried to assassinate Pope John Paul II is being sent back to jail. It comes after the Turkish Supreme Court overturned the decision made last week to release Mehmet Ali Agca. The Turkish Justice Ministry had appealed against the ruling to set him free. Agca’s motives for shooting and seriously injuring the Pope back in 1981 remain a mystery, although there are claims he was a hired hitman working for communist secret services.
He was captured immediately and spent 19 years in prison in Italy before being pardoned at the behest of the Pope at the turn of the millennium. Agca was then extradited back to Turkey to serve a sentence for murdering a newspaper editor in 1979. The Pope met his would-be killer in person two years after the shooting and forgave him. His time served in Italy was initially deducted from his life sentence in Turkey, but the appeal saw Turkey’s top judges overturn that. That is likely to please many Turks, who vocally opposed the decision to let him walk free. It is reported Agca has already been arrested.