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Pope's Attacker Fails to Report to Police

January 14, 2006|From Associated Press

ISTANBUL, Turkey — The Turk who shot Pope John Paul II failed to report to a police station Friday, a day after his release from prison, and authorities said the military could seek his arrest for draft dodging.

Mehmet Ali Agca was required to report daily to a police station to allow authorities to keep tabs on him at least until officials decide whether he should serve in the military, which is mandatory in most cases.

Istanbul Gov. Muammer Guler said Agca was also required to report to a military hospital Monday. "If he doesn't show up, he will be listed as a draft dodger," and his arrest could be sought, Guler said.

Agca was released from an Istanbul prison after serving more than two decades in Italy and Turkey for the 1981 assassination attempt on the pope and the 1979 killing of a prominent Turkish journalist.

Justice Minister Cemil Cicek ordered a review of Agca's case and later told a Turkish newspaper that he might be returned to his cell to serve at least 11 more months for the murder of journalist Abdi Ipekci. Agca would remain free until an appeals court reviewed the case to determine whether any errors were committed in releasing him.

Agca had served time for attempted murder in Italy, where John Paul forgave him in a famous visit to his cell in 1983.

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