Turkey frees Yank guilty of terrorism
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.