Turkey to release U.S. pastor Brunson

Turkey to release U.S. pastor Brunson

U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson has been freed from house arrest by a court in Turkey's western province of Izmir.

Brunson was sentenced to three years in prison but will not serve time as he had already spent two years in jail, BBC reported.

He was arrested over alleged links to political groups following the failed 2016 coup attempt in a case that soured US-Turkey relations. Brunson denied charges of espionage, which could have led to a 35-year jail term.

Brunson is a long-term resident in Turkey. He lived with his wife and three children while working as the pastor of the small Izmir Resurrection Church, which had a congregation of about two dozen.

The authorities accuse him of having links with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Gulenist movement, which Turkey blames for a 2016 failed coup.

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