Turkish prosecutor asks for reversal of American pastor Brunson’s release

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An İzmir prosecutor on Friday requested the reversal of a decision to release an American pastor who had been tried on charges of terrorism in the wake of a July 15, 2016 coup attempt in Turkey.

A prosecutor in the Western province of İzmir, where pastor Andrew Brunson and his wife resided for years, asked the regional court to reverse the verdict handed down last month that resulted in Brunson’s release.

Brunson returned to the United States immediately after the ruling.

Brunson had been detained in Turkey on terrorism charges for almost two years and was later put under house arrest while standing trial. On Oct. 12 the İzmir 2nd High Criminal Court sentenced him to three years, one-and-a-half months but released him for time already served.

The court had moved Brunson to house arrest from jail in July, contrary to Washington’s demands for his release, resulting in US sanctions on the Turkish interior and justice ministers.

The Brunson crisis had strained relations between the two NATO allies. US President Donald Trump said there was “no deal” behind Brunson’s release but repeatedly thanked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

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