Originally Agca claimed to be a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, but they denied any ties to him. Later he claimed to be part of a conspiracy assisted by Bulgaria, which was pressured by the KGB to assassinate the Pope because of his support of Poland's Solidarity movement. No definite motive has been established. Agca was sentenced to life imprisionment in Italy, but was pardoned by president Carlo Azeglio Ciampi in June 2000. Agca returned to Turkey, where he was imprisoned for the murder of a newspaper editor.
Mehmet is quoted as saying "To me [the pope] was the incarnation of all that is capitalism."