Turkey frees Yank guilty of ter­ror­ism

New York Daily News - - VOICE OF THE PEOPLE - THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

A Turk­ish court on Fri­day convicted an Amer­i­can pas­tor of ter­ror charges but re­leased him from house ar­rest and al­lowed him to leave Turkey, a move that’s likely to ease the ten­sions be­tween Turkey and the United States.

The court near the western city of Izmir sen­tenced An­drew Brun­son to three years in pri­son, but since the evan­gel­i­cal pas­tor has al­ready spent two years in de­ten­tion he won’t serve more time.

The charge of es­pi­onage against him was dropped.

Brun­son, whose de­ten­tion sparked a diplo­matic dis­pute be­tween the two NATO al­lies, had re­jected the es­pi­onage and ter­ror-re­lated charges and strongly main­tained his in­no­cence.

The United States had re­peat­edly called for his re­lease and in Au­gust slapped sanc­tions on Turkey.

Lawyer Is­mail Cem Halavurt said Brun­son, 50, was ex­pected to leave Turkey for the United States.

The evan­gel­i­cal pas­tor had faced up to 35 years in jail if convicted of all the charges.

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