Turkey: US pastor Andrew Brunson released from jail and put under house arrest | News | DW | 25.07.2018
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Turkey: US pastor Andrew Brunson released from jail and put under house arrest

Accused of having terrorist ties, Brunson faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted. The US has called for his release, while Turkey has suggested a swap for Fethullah Gulen.

On Wednesday, a Turkish court ordered US pastor Andrew Brunson to be released from prison, where he has been detained since October 2016, and be put under house arrest instead. The man is accused of having ties to two groups the Turkish government considers terrorist organizations: The so-called Gulen movement of exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen and the Kurdistan Workers' Party PKK.

Although he vehemently denies the claims, Brunson could face up to 35 years in prison if found guilty. The case has further deteriorated ties between Ankara and Washington, with US President Donald Trump calling the case a "disgrace."

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Gulen was behind a failed coup attempt in July 2016, and expressed interest in exchanging Brunson for Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the US since 1999.

Brunson will be outfitted with an electronic ankle bracelet and not be allowed to leave the country. His next scheduled court appearance is on October 12.

js/rt (AFP, dpa)

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