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American pastor Andrew Brunson has been released after being detained for two years in Turkey.
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Hearing - Morning - Court - Sakran - Control
At a hearing this morning, a Turkish court in Sakran freed him from judicial control, which lifts his house arrest and travel ban.
Despite a guilty verdict sentencing him to 3 years, 1 month, and 15 days in prison, Brunson may return home to the United States as soon as today due to good behavior and time already served.
NBC - News - News - Yesterday - Deal
NBC News broke the news yesterday of the expected deal between Turkey and the United States over Brunson, a North Carolina pastor who had worked in Izmir for decades and was arrested on terrorism and espionage charges in the aftermath of a failed coup in 2016.
US officials and religious freedom advocates considered the charges against Brunson to be erroneous, and multiple witnesses retracted their testimonies against him during today’s hearing.
Trump - Administration - Officials - Turkey - Deal
Trump administration officials were optimistic but cautious that Turkey would follow through on the deal, reported The Washington Post. The deal would likely lift recent US sanctions in exchange for Brunson’s release by being sentenced today to time already served.
Officials expect Brunson to “be handed back his passport and put on a plane to the US,” reported The Wall Street Journal.
Christians - Brunson - Imprisonment - Leaders - Family
US Christians have been praying and advocating for Brunson throughout his imprisonment, and leaders including Family Research Council president Tony Perkins and New York pastor Bill Devlin joined him in Turkey for the final hearing.
Devlin, The New York Timesreports, has attended every court appearance and said the case received attention from the Trump White House in part because Brunson and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo both belong to the same denomination of theMr. Brunson has had high-level support from the Trump administration, not least because he and Secretary of State Mike...
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