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Turkish Appeals Court Overturns Agca's Release from Prison


A Turkish appeals court has ruled that Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turkish gunman who attempted to kill Pope John Paul II, must return to prison.

The court went along with a request from Turkey's Justice Minister Cemil Cicek who challenged an Istanbul court's decision earlier this month ordering the 48-year-old Agca freed under a series of amnesties. The minister specifically challenged the lower court's inclusion of prison time Agca had served in Italy in his Turkish prison sentence.

It is not clear when Agca is to return to prison.

Agca spent more than 19 years in an Italian prison for his 1981 attempt to kill the pontiff in Saint Peter's Square until his pardon in 2000 at the pope's request. He then served half of his 10-year term in Turkey for the 1979 murder of a Turkish journalist, Abdi Ipekci.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.