Turkish court rejects US pastor Brunson's appeal against house arrest
A court in Turkey's western province of İzmir rejected an appeal on July 31 for United States Christian pastor Andrew Brunson to be released from house arrest during his trial on terrorism charges, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
The İzmir Second Heavy Penalty Court said in its ruling the “strong criminal suspicions” against the suspect had not changed their nature.
“Although the suspect has been released from the jail he was imprisoned, this does not mean there has been a change in the evidence against him,” the court said.
The appeal was filed by Brunson’s lawyer, İsmail Cem Halavurt. Brunson’s next hearing as part of the trial is scheduled for Oct. 12.
The pastor was released for house arrest on July 25. The court ordered him to wear an electronic bracelet at all times and barred him from traveling outside of the country.
Brunson, who has been living in Turkey for more than two decades, was accused of helping supporters of the U.S.-based Fethullah Gülen who Turkish authorities say masterminded the 2016 coup attempt in which 250 people were killed.
Brunson was also charged with supporting the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants.