Detained US pastor on trial in Turkey

Detained US pastor on trial in Turkey

Detained US pastor on trial in Turkey

Previously arrested for links with FETO, Brunson is brought to the courthouse and arrested again on charges of espionage and support for the coup.

The judge at Brunson's latest hearing sentenced him to time served and subsequently released him, Fox News reports.

Mr Brunson described the conditions his son faced in jail before he was placed on house arrest.

The pastor, who has run a small evangelical Protestant church since 1993 in the western city of Izmir, has become a cause celebre for US President Donald Trump's conservative Christian base.

The United States has brokered a deal with Turkey for the release of North Carolina pastor Andrew Brunson, after nearly two years of him being held in a Turkish jail.

"The prayers of thousands were answered today when Pastor Brunson was released by the Turkish government and told he could go home to the United States".

Erdogan, who has in the past taken aim at Brunson, appeared to distance himself from the case in his latest comments, saying he could not interfere in judicial affairs.

In July, Trump had threatened to hit Turkey with "large sanctions" if it failed to release Brunson.

Now, after several months under house arrest, the Turkish government has chose to release the pastor. Making a statement in flawless Turkish, the Evangelical Presbyterian minister, who moved to Turkey in 1993, said, "I'm an innocent man - I love Jesus, and I love this country".

Brunson's imprisonment led to USA tariffs against Turkey and drawn condemnation from President Donald Trump, who frequently lashed out at Ankara over the United States man's detainment.

Erdoğan had previously attempted to craft a deal with the trade Brunson for Fethullah Gülen, the US -based Turkish cleric that he blames for the coup attempt. Turkey has unsuccessfully pressed the extradite Gulen, who denies involvement in the coup attempt. The man replied, "I never saw any bombs or bombers, but I'm a Turkish nationalist - to me, all Syrians are terrorists".

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After the ruling, Brunson's lawyer said the pastor was likely to leave Turkey. The new witnesses did not confirm Kalkan's accusations.

WND reported last week Brunson's lawyer petitioned Turkey's highest court to release the pastor from house arrest.

Pastor Andrew Brunson arrived at his house in Izmir, Turkey, on July 25, 2018, after being released from prison to remain under house arrest while his trial continued.

An American pastor who has been held in prison by the Turkish government for two years should be on his way home to the the end of the day.

Members of the Christ Community Church in Montreat, North Carolina, were overjoyed at Brunson's release.

He later added in a second tweet: 'My thoughts and prayers are with Pastor Brunson, and we hope to have him safely back home soon!'

She quotes White as saying the group is "all just shouting 'Hallelujah!' and doing the happy dance".

"We're overjoyed, but it still doesn't quite seem real", she said of the news of his release. Washington slapped sanctions on two Turkish officials and doubled tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum imports. Turkey wanted to exchange Brunson for the Muslim cleric it accused of orchestrating the failed coup, Fetullah Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania.

Three other people detained in Turkey have further fueled strain between the USA and Turkey.

Brunson's case became a cause de celebre in the United States, with evangelicals campaigning hard on the issue.

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