Andrew Brunson, the American pastor who was imprisoned and then placed under house arrest in Turkey over his alleged ties to an outlawed group, was ordered freed on Friday and sentenced to time served, a Turkish judge ruled.
The decision ended a tense diplomatic standoff between the U.S. and Turkey that began following Brunson’s October 2016 arrest. The 50-year-old pastor was facing terror and espionage-related charges and was detained by Turkey as part of a government crackdown following a failed coup attempt months earlier.
Brunson appeared Friday at prison complex in Izmir for his fourth hearing, telling a courtroom that he is “an innocent man.
“I love Jesus, I love Turkey,” he said, according to the Associated Press.
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— Fox News (@FoxNews) October 12, 2018
— Dave Lawler (@DavidLawler10) October 12, 2018
Breaking: a Turkish court has sentenced pastor Andrew Brunson to just over 3 years in prison but freed him from house arrest. After two years in custody Brunson is a free man.
— Piotr Zalewski (@p_zalewski) October 12, 2018
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