Brunson decision made in line with rule of law: Turkish Foreign Ministry
Jailed American Pastor Andrew Brunson’s case is being carried out in accordance with the rule of law and the extension of his arrest should be considered within this understanding, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hami Aksoy said on July 19.
His remarks came after being asked about a tweet posted by U.S. President Donald Trump, who said the continuation of Brunson’s arrest is a “total disgrace.”
“The Brunson case is a legal process. And the process is ongoing. He is able to meet with his family, lawyers and consulate officials regularly. This judicial process is conducted on the principle of the rule of law. Turkey is a state of law. [The court’s] decision should be considered within this framework,”Aksoy said at a press conference.
Trump on July 18 criticized a Turkish court’s ruling to keep Brunson behind bars and called on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to help release the pastor who has been in jail since October 2016.
“A total disgrace that Turkey will not release a respected U.S. Pastor, Andrew Brunson, from prison. He has been held hostage far too long. @RT_Erdogan should do something to free this wonderful Christian husband & father. He has done nothing wrong, and his family needs him!” Trump said on Twitter.
On July 18, a court in Turkey’s Aegean province of İzmir ruled that Brunson, tried on terrorism and spying charges, will be kept in jail pending trial.
The Second High Penal Court in İzmir decided to continue listening to the testimonies of witnesses in the next hearing on Oct. 12.