ANKARA: The Turkish man who shot Pope John Paul II in 1981 was released from prison on Monday, completing his sentence for crimes committed in Turkey.
Mehmet Ali Agca, who spent more than 29 years behind bars, waved to journalists as he left the prison in a blue sedan car in a convoy of several vehicles. He was heading to a military facility and then to a 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."
John Paul II met with Agca in Italy's Rebibbia prison in 1983 and forgave him for the shooting. The motive for the attack remains unclear.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The Turkish man who shot Pope John Paul II in 1981 was released from prison on Monday after completing his sentence for crimes committed in Turkey, television stations reported.
Mehmet Ali Agca, who spent more than 29 years in prison, will be taken to a military facility and then to a hospital to renew a 2006 military hospital report which said he is not fit for obligatory military service because of "severe anti-social personality disorder," said Gokay Gultekin, his lawyer.
There have been long-standing questions about Agca's mental health based on his frequent outbursts and claims that he was the Messiah.
In a statement on Monday, distributed by his lawyer outside the prison in Sincan on the outskirts of Ankara, the Turkish capital, he raved again: "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."