Brunson’s lawyer to appeal to ECtHR if house arrest, travel ban not lifted: report

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US Pastor Andrew Craig Brunson (C), is seen inside a car escorted by Turkish plain clothes police officers as he arrives at his house on July 25, 2018 in Izmir. AFP PHOTO

İsmail Cem Halavurt, the lawyer for jailed pastor Andrew Brunson, who was transferred from pretrial detention to house arrest last month, said they will appeal to the Turkish Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) if the İzmir 3rd High Criminal Court rules to keep Brunson under house arrest and barred from leaving the country, the Mezopotamya news agency reported on Thursday.

The appeal was referred to the İzmir 3rd High Criminal Court after it was rejected by the İzmir 2nd High Criminal Court earlier this week. Halavurt pointed out that for the moment they are waiting for the decision from the higher court.

Speaking to the news agency Halavurt said: “The decision of the İzmir 2nd High Criminal Court was not at all surprising to us. We demonstrated that there is no evidence that supports the charges, whereas the court validated the testimony of anonymous witnesses.”

“Unless the house arrest and the travel ban are lifted, we will appeal to the Constitutional Court, and then if the Constitutional Court rejects it, too, we will go to the ECtHR,” Halavurt added.

“I don’t think the economic crisis in Turkey arose solely from this case. However, the sanctions put in place by the US because of this case are causing a further deterioration of the situation. Naturally, nobody wants that. Reasonable and logical steps should be taken here. Pastor Brunson should be sent home. This is also what the law requires.” Halavurt said.

Turkey has been facing a currency crisis since its relations with the US administration were dramatically strained over the court decision to put Brunson under house arrest after almost two years in pretrial detention rather than release him as demanded by the US administration.

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