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Trump Threatens Turkey: Let US Pastor Go Free

North Carolina's Andrew Brunson is out of jail but under house arrest, accused of espionage
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 26, 2018 1:32 PM CDT
Andrew Craig Brunson, an evangelical pastor from Black Mountain, North Carolina, arrives at his house in Izmir, Turkey, Wednesday, July 25, 2018. He is under house arrest.   (AP Photo/Emre Tazegul)
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(Newser) – He is a 50-year-old American pastor who has been doing missionary work in Turkey for 23 years. Turkey, however, has a different description for Andrew Brunson: They say he's a spy and an abettor of terrorists who is working to overthrow the government. Brunson has been in custody for a year and a half now, though Turkey relented a bit this week and released him from jail and allowed him to return to his residence under house arrest. But US officials, including President Trump, say that's not enough. Here's a look at developments:

  • The arrest: Brunson was among those jailed in the wake of a failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2016. Authorities say he has links to two terror groups, including one led by cleric Fethullah Gulen, who lives in exile in the US. Brunson denies all charges, but he faces 15 years on the terror charges and another 20 for espionage if convicted, reports the AP. His trial is supposed to start in October.

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