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More time in jail for man who shot pope

Associated Press
Published January 21, 2006

ANKARA, Turkey - The man who shot Pope John Paul II returned to prison Friday, after an appeals court ruled that he should serve more time for the killing of a Turkish journalist and other crimes.

Mehmet Ali Agca, 48, did not resist arrest hours earlier when police knocked on his Istanbul apartment door following the court's ruling.

"I was waiting for you," he told the officers, according to private NTV television.

He was driven to Kartal prison, the same Istanbul lockup that he was released from eight days ago.

The panel of appeals court judges overturned a lower court's ruling that set Agca free on Jan. 12. He had served 19 years in an Italian prison for the 1981 attack on the pope and then another 51/2 years of a 10-year sentence in Turkey for murdering Turkish journalist Abdi Ipekci in 1979. Agca also has been convicted in a factory robbery and for stealing a vehicle in 1979.

In ordering his release, the lower court counted the time served in Italy and said Agca had fulfilled his sentence, outraging many Turks. Justice Minister Cemil Cicek asked the court to review the case, and the judges ruled unanimously Friday that Agca go back to prison and serve more time.

"There is no legal basis to deduct Agca's time in Italy from his prison terms he received in Turkey," the court said.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Agca would be brought today before a local prosecutor, who will decide how many more years Agca should serve.

[Last modified January 21, 2006, 01:34:14]

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