American Clergyman Denies Terror Links, Spying in Turkish Court

The Brunson case has further raised the temperature of heated relations between North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies Turkey and the United States, with US President Donald Trump raising the issue in talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Brunson - wearing a black suit, speaking fluent Turkish and at one point bursting into tears - was present in court in the town of Aliaga north of Izmir for the hearing, an AFP correspondent said.

Brunson, who has lived in Turkey for more than 20 years, has denied the charges. Washington has demanded his launch.

The administration of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has long portrayed former imam Fethullah Gulen as the sinister mastermind who orchestrated last year's failed coup attempt from his home in Pennsylvania.

Brunson explained that he was under medication due to solitary confinement in prison, Hurriyet said.

High-level US officials, including President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, have called for Pastor Brunson's release. But they say, 'give us the pastor.' You have another pastor in your hands.


"Instead of being returned to the prison where he had been held most recently, the judge ordered Pastor Andrew to be taken back to an overcrowded and extremely grim prison where he was held initially", said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, which helps represent Brunson.

A copy of Brunson's indictment seen by Reuters accuses him of working both with Gulen's network and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has fought an insurgency in southeast Turkey and is designated a terrorist group by the United States and European Union.

Izmir'rsquo & s prosecutor;s office stated evidence was obtained to bill Brunson with obtaining confidential government advice for military and political espionage and helping associations that are armed. I have been praying for Turkey for 25 years'.

Brunson reacted with emotion, telling his wife Norine in English: 'I am going insane. "There is a victim and we must first of all assure his right to freedom and security", said Halavurt. He referred to charges where the witnesses were "secret". "I haven't been involved in any illegal activity", Brunson told the court, according to Turkish newspaper The Hürriyet Daily News.

Ismail Cem Halavurt stated Andrew Brunson, detained faced the &ldquordquo; control of aiding a terrorist association and should really be freed at rsquo & Monday.


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