INTRODUCTION: The condition of Pope John Paul the Second has continued to improve, with the Pontiff sittings up in an armchair for several hours and walking outside his hospital room.
GV EXTERIOR Mehmet Agca surrounded by police and other men, leaves building and enters police van
GV INTERIOR Cardinal at altar in St. Peter's during Papal Mass
GV PAN Cardinals and others in congregation
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Background: INTRODUCTION: The condition of Pope John Paul the Second has continued to improve, with the Pontiff sittings up in an armchair for several hours and walking outside his hospital room. Meanwhile, the man accused of trying to kill him was transferred on Thursday (21 May) from Rome's police headquarters to the city's Rebbibia jail.
SYNOPSIS: Mehmet Ali Agca was unrepentant as he was taken into solitary confinement. Agca, who is also charged with wounding two American women tourists, shouted: "I am sorry for the two foreign tourists, not for the Pope," The 23-year-old Turk had been under almost continuous interrogation for a week. The charge he faces carries life imprisonment under Italian law. In Italy his alleged crime is as serious as an attack on a head of state.
Later on Thursday evening (21 May), a special mass was held in St. Peter's Basilica. Every one of Italy's Roman Catholic bishops was there to pray for Pope John Paul's health. The next morning (May 22), his doctors were to announce that the Pope's health was continuing to improve and they spoke of plans for him to address the faithful in St. Peter's Square by a live radio link from his hospital room on the following Sunday (24 May).