Italy    POPE COULD SEEK CLEMENCY FOR HIS WOULD-BE ASSASSIN
There is speculation that the Jubilee of Prisoners on 9 July could be the occasion for the Pope to seek clemency for Ali Agca, the man who shot him in 1981.
   Cardinal Camillo Ruini, president of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), has already made an appeal clemency for prisoners because of the Holy Year.
   On 9 July, the Pope will celebrate Mass in the Rebibbia prison in Rome, and this prison could be the scene of the announcement. Ali Agca himself said recently, "I am confident that this grace will soon be given..."
   Most Italian prisoners serving life sentences are released after twenty years. Ali Agca has now served nineteen. While the Holy Father has publicly pardoned the Turkish gunman for his action, the Vatican has never intervened to reduce Agca's sentence. Complicating the matter are pending charges that Agca faces in his native Turkey.
   Zenit (available soon)
24 May 00

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