Tags: pope | john paul | agca | italy

Italy Expels Would-be Pope Killer Mehmet Ali Agca

By    |   Monday, 29 Dec 2014 10:34 PM

The would-be assassin of Pope John Paul II has been booted from Italy – two days after he paid a visit to the sainted pontiff's tomb.

An Italian judge Monday approved the expulsion of Mehmet Ali Agca, 56, the Turkish man who tried to kill the pope in 1981, and he was set to be flown to Istanbul, police sources told the Italian news agency ANSA, Religion News Service reports.

Agca, who spent 19 years behind bars for the assassination attempt – and was famously visited by the pontiff during that time – had placed flowers on John Paul's tomb in St. Peter’s Basilica on Saturday.

After serving time in Italy, Agca was deported to his native Turkey to do time for the 1979 murder of left-wing journalist Abdi Ipekci, Religion News Service reports.

"I would like to go to the tomb of John Paul II, who visited me in prison," Agca told ANSA earlier this month, Religion News Service reports. "I couldn’t go to his funeral so I would like to pay my respects to a spiritual brother."

Vatican officials have rejected his requests for a meeting with Pope Francis.

Agca's presence in Italy has caused a stir, since he's banned from the country until 2016. He also triggered controversy by claiming an Italian teen girl who disappeared in 1983 was still alive, Religion News Service.

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The would-be assassin of Pope John Paul II has been booted from Italy - two days after he paid a visit to the sainted pontiff's tomb.
pope, john paul, agca, italy
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2014-34-29
Monday, 29 Dec 2014 10:34 PM
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