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Turkish prosecutor appeals verdict to free US pastor Brunson

Europe
16.10.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Istanbul (dpa) - A Turkish prosecutor has appealed a court decision from last week that set US pastor Andrew Brunson free, characterizing the decision as "wrongful," Turkish media reported on Tuesday.

However, should the appeal be successful, any extension of the sentence would have no direct impact on Brunson, as he has already returned to the US.

Turkish daily Milli Gazete said the prosecutor demanded the court overturn its decision from October 12 to lift the house arrest and travel ban against Brunson.

Brunson‘s lawyer, Ismail Cem Halavurt, confirmed the prosecutor‘s appeal on Tuesday. Halavurt said he had separately appealed the decision, demanding Brunson‘s acquittal.

The court in Turkey‘s Aegean province of Izmir sentenced Brunson to three years, one month and 15 days in prison, but allowed Brunson to receive credit for time already served, setting him free.

The 50-year-old pastor was detained in October 2016 and was formally arrested and charged that December. He was accused of links to the movement of Fethullah Gulen, an Islamic cleric who lives in exile in the US and whom Turkey blames for a failed coup attempt in July 2016.

The case has strained relations between the US and Turkey, which have imposed tit-for-tat sanctions on each other‘s ministers, as well as tariffs on imports. The impasse has also triggered a currency crisis in Turkey.

 

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