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Would-be Pope killer appears on TV

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Would-be Pope killer appears on TV


It was a defining moment in 1981 – the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II in Rome.
The would-be killer opened fire as the pontiff was being driven across St Peter’s Square.

The man responsible, Mehmet Ali Agca was immediately arrested and spent the next 30 years in jail.

For the first time since his release earlier this year, Agca has given an interview in his native Turkey on state run television.

There have been many theories as to his motives; when he was arrested he said he had acted alone. Now he has a new book to promote.

“The Vatican government decided on the Pope’s assassination,” he alleged. “They planned and organised it. The order to shoot the Pope was given by Vatican secretary, Cardinal Agostino Casaroli.”

Agca’s accusation is just one of many he has made since he met a forgiving Pope John Paul II in 1983. Once he claimed a connection to a Palestinian group, but later blamed the Bulgarian secret service.

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