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Turk who shot John Paul II lays flowers on tomb in St. Peter's Basilica in surprise visit

  • FILE - In this Dec. 27, 1983 file photo provided by Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope John Paul II, left, meets Mehmet Ali Agca, in Agca's prison cell in Rome. The Vatican says the Turk who shot and wounded John Paul II in 1981 has laid flowers on the saint's tomb in St. Peter's Basilica. A Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Ciro Benedettini, said the surprise visit Saturday by Mehmet Ali Agca lasted a few minutes. As with other flowers left by visitors to the tomb, the white blossoms were later removed by basilica workers. John Paul visited the incarcerated Agca in 1983 and later intervened with Italian authorities to gain Agca's release in 2000 from the Italian prison where he was serving a life sentence for the assassination attempt in St. Peter's Square. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, File)

    FILE - In this Dec. 27, 1983 file photo provided by Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope John Paul II, left, meets Mehmet Ali Agca, in Agca's prison cell in Rome. The Vatican says the Turk who shot and wounded John Paul II in 1981 has laid flowers on the saint's tomb in St. Peter's Basilica. A Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Ciro Benedettini, said the surprise visit Saturday by Mehmet Ali Agca lasted a few minutes. As with other flowers left by visitors to the tomb, the white blossoms were later removed by basilica workers. John Paul visited the incarcerated Agca in 1983 and later intervened with Italian authorities to gain Agca's release in 2000 from the Italian prison where he was serving a life sentence for the assassination attempt in St. Peter's Square. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014 file photo Mehmet Ali Agca, the man who shot Pope John Paul II in May 1981, speaks during a press conference in Istanbul, Turkey. The Vatican says the Turk who shot and wounded John Paul II in 1981 has laid flowers on the saint's tomb in St. Peter's Basilica, Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014. A Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Ciro Benedettini, said the surprise visit Saturday by Mehmet Ali Agca lasted a few minutes. As with other flowers left by visitors to the tomb, the white blossoms were later removed by basilica workers. John Paul visited the incarcerated Agca in 1983 and later intervened with Italian authorities to gain Agca's release in 2000 from the Italian prison where he was serving a life sentence for the assassination attempt in St. Peter's Square. (AP Photo)

    FILE - In this Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014 file photo Mehmet Ali Agca, the man who shot Pope John Paul II in May 1981, speaks during a press conference in Istanbul, Turkey. The Vatican says the Turk who shot and wounded John Paul II in 1981 has laid flowers on the saint's tomb in St. Peter's Basilica, Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014. A Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Ciro Benedettini, said the surprise visit Saturday by Mehmet Ali Agca lasted a few minutes. As with other flowers left by visitors to the tomb, the white blossoms were later removed by basilica workers. John Paul visited the incarcerated Agca in 1983 and later intervened with Italian authorities to gain Agca's release in 2000 from the Italian prison where he was serving a life sentence for the assassination attempt in St. Peter's Square. (AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this image taken from a video provided by Adnkronos International, Ali Agca stands in front of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014. The Turkish gunman who shot and wounded John Paul II in 1981 laid white flowers Saturday on the saint's tomb in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican officials said. A Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Ciro Benedettini, said the surprise visit by Mehmet Ali Agca, believed to be his first time in the Vatican since the assassination attempt, lasted a few minutes. As with other flowers left by visitors to the tomb, the blossoms were later removed by basilica workers. (AP Photo/Adnkronos International, ho)

    In this image taken from a video provided by Adnkronos International, Ali Agca stands in front of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014. The Turkish gunman who shot and wounded John Paul II in 1981 laid white flowers Saturday on the saint's tomb in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican officials said. A Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Ciro Benedettini, said the surprise visit by Mehmet Ali Agca, believed to be his first time in the Vatican since the assassination attempt, lasted a few minutes. As with other flowers left by visitors to the tomb, the blossoms were later removed by basilica workers. (AP Photo/Adnkronos International, ho)  (The Associated Press)

The Vatican says the Turk who shot and wounded John Paul II in 1981 has laid flowers on the saint's tomb in St. Peter's Basilica.

A Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Ciro Benedettini, said the surprise visit Saturday by Mehmet Ali Agca lasted a few minutes. As with other flowers left by visitors to the tomb, the white blossoms were later removed by basilica workers.

John Paul visited the incarcerated Agca in 1983 and later intervened with Italian authorities to gain Agca's release in 2000 from the Italian prison where he was serving a life sentence for the assassination attempt in St. Peter's Square. Agca then served a sentence in Turkey in another case and is now free. Benedettini said there are no legal matters pending against Agca in the Vatican.