Turkey places terror-linked US pastor Andrew Brunson under house arrest

Turkey places terror-linked US pastor Andrew Brunson under house arrest

25 July 2018, 16:38 545
The U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson, currently under detention and facing terrorism charges in Turkey, has been moved to house arrest, media reports indicated on Wednesday, APA reported citing Daily Sabah.

Last week, a Turkish court ordered Brunson, who is being tried on terrorism and spying charges, to remain in detention, rejecting his lawyer's plea for release.

The judge said the next hearing in the trial would be on Oct. 12.

Brunson, a Christian pastor from North Carolina who has lived in Turkey for more than two decades, was indicted on charges of helping the Gulenist Terror Group (FETO), which Ankara blames for the failed 2016 coup, as well as supporting the PKK terrorist organization.

The case of Brunson, who was a pastor at the Dirilis (Resurrection) Protestant Church in Izmir, has been a thorny issue between Turkey and the U.S. Washington has repeatedly called for the release of Brunson, claiming he was "unjustly detained."

The Turkish government has repeatedly told Washington that Brunson's case is being handled by the courts and the government cannot intervene.

Brunson was arrested after a secret witness in a criminal probe into FETÖ testified against him while authorities were preparing to deport Brunson and his wife Norine Lyn for "involvement in actions threatening national security."

The FETO's coup attempt in 2016 was quelled thanks to a strong public resistance. Thousands of people, from military officers who opened fire on unarmed crowds rallying against the coup to "civilian" point men of the terrorist group, were arrested or detained under a state of emergency.