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Updated: January 18, 2010 12:44 IST

Pope gunman released from prison

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File photo of Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turkish gunman who shot Pope John Paul II in 1981.
AP File photo of Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turkish gunman who shot Pope John Paul II in 1981.

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.”

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