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Vatican     HOLY SEE DISCLOSES PAPAL INTERVENTION FOR RELEASE OF TURKISH GUNMAN
Pope John Paul II personally intervened with Italian authorities to gain the release last month of the Turkish gunman who sought to kill him in 1981, a Vatican spokesman said on Sunday.
    John Paul wrote to Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi asking for a "gesture of clemency" for Mehmet Ali Agca, who was serving a life sentence in Italy for shooting the pope during a public appearance in St. Peter's Square.
    The Vatican's interest in Agca's release was known, but the disclosure by Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls was the first confirmation that the pope himself had been involved.
    Since Agca's release on 13 June and his extradition to Turkey to serve a sentence in another case, Agca, in a bizarre outburst, has accused the Vatican of being "the enemy of God" and humanity, and urged that John Paul resign.
   
CNN
   
18 July 00



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