US pastor Brunson back in Turkish court for spying and terror trial

US pastor Brunson back in Turkish court for spying and terror trial

ALİAĞA
US pastor Brunson back in Turkish court for spying and terror trial

Andrew Brunson arrived the court in a police car before daybreak on Oct. 12, 2018.

The trial against an American pastor at the heart of a diplomatic dispute between Turkey and the United States has resumed in Turkey.

The fourth hearing against Andrew Brunson began at 10.40 a.m. on Oct. 12 in a prison complex in the Aliağa district of the coastal city of İzmir.

The evangelical pastor is accused of terror-related charges and espionage, facing up to 35 years if convicted.

There was heavy security as the pastor arrived before daybreak.

Dozens of Turkish and foreign journalists are following the trial.

NBC News and The Washington Post reported on Oct. 11 that the U.S. and Turkey had reached an agreement in which some charges against Brunson would be dropped and he would be released at the hearing or soon after.

Brunson maintains his innocence and the U.S. has repeatedly called for his release.

The pastor was imprisoned for nearly two years before being placed under house arrest on July 25 for health reasons.

The court’s decision failed to improve tensions between the two NATO allies, and Washington sanctioned two Turkish officials and doubled tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminum imports.

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US hopeful Turkey to free pastor Brunson ahead of new hearing: Pompeo

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Andrew Brunson, Trial, Turkey