US pastor Andrew Brunson
US pastor Andrew Brunson

Freed US pastor leaves Turkey for home

ANI | Updated: Oct 13, 2018 06:30 IST

Izmir [Turkey], Oct 13 (ANI): Few hours after a Turkish court released Andrew Brunson in connection to a coup d'etat case, the American pastor has headed back to his home country via Germany in a United States military plane.
Earlier on Friday, the court released Brunson, after he was detained for two years for allegedly helping political groups, including Gulen movement, to overthrow Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a failed coup in 2016. He was charged and sentenced to three years, CNN reported.
While appearing before the court along with his wife, the judges decided to release him based on his time already served and his good conduct during the proceedings, his lawyer informed.
Following the verdict, US President Donald Trump took to his Twitter handle and wrote, "PASTOR BRUNSON JUST RELEASED. WILL BE HOME SOON! My thoughts and prayers are with Pastor Brunson, and we hope to have him safely back home soon!"
A native of North Carolina, Brunson worked as an evangelical Presbyterian pastor at the Izmir Resurrection Church. He has resided in Turkey for over 23 years with his wife and three children.
In July, Brunson was released from prison due to medical reasons and was put under house arrest until his trial. In retaliation, the US slapped sanctions on Turkey's justice and interior ministers over his continued detention, straining ties between the two countries. (ANI)