Turkish court orders US pastor Brunson to stay in prison

A Turkish soldier stands guard at the entrance of the Aliaga court and prison complex, during the trial of US pastor Andrew Brunson, held on charges of aiding terror groups, in Aliaga, north of Izmir, on July 18, 2018. (AFP/Ozan Kose)
Updated 18 July 2018
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Turkish court orders US pastor Brunson to stay in prison

  • Brunson faces up to 35 years in jail if convicted on charges of carrying out activities on behalf of two groups deemed by Turkey to be terror organizations
  • The case has become a major sticking point in improving relations between Ankara and Washington

ALIAGA: A Turkish court on Wednesday ordered an American pastor held for almost two years on terror charges to remain in prison, defying growing pressure from the US authorities for his release.
The judge said the next hearing in the case of Andrew Brunson, who ran a protestant church in the Aegean city of Izmir and was first detained in October 2016, would be on October 12, an AFP correspondent reported.
This is the third time his release has been refused — the court had in both previous hearings on April 16 and May 7 denied requests by the defense for Brunson to be set free.
After the hearing was concluded, Brunson waved at supporters, saying only “thank you” in English.
The case has become a major sticking point in improving relations between Ankara and Washington and US President Donald Trump has repeatedly called for Brunson’s release.
He faces up to 35 years in jail if convicted on charges of carrying out activities on behalf of two groups deemed by Turkey to be terror organizations — one led by US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen who Ankara says was behind the failed 2016 coup and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).


Strasbourg gunman Cherif Chekatt shot dead by police

Updated 1 min 43 sec ago
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Strasbourg gunman Cherif Chekatt shot dead by police

LONDON: A gunman on the run since he killed three people at Strasbourg’s popular Christmas market has been shot dead by police.

More than 700 French security forces had been hunting for 29-year-old Cherif Chekatt since the bloodshed on Tuesday night. The source said he was shot and killed by police in the Neudorf area of the city.

Strasbourg shooter Cherif Chekatt is dead, say French police.

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