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).


Accused Christchurch mosque shooter also charged with terrorist act

Updated 2 min 17 sec ago
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Accused Christchurch mosque shooter also charged with terrorist act

  • Brenton Tarrant, a suspected white supremacist, faces 51 charges of murder and 40 of attempted murder
  • He is next due to appear in court in June

WELLINGTON: New Zealand police said on Tuesday they were charging the man accused of murder in shootings at two Christchurch mosques in March with engaging in a terrorist act.
The charge, which came under the country’s terrorism suppression legislation, was filed against Brenton Tarrant, police said in a statement.
The man, a suspected white supremacist, faces 51 charges of murder and 40 of attempted murder. He is next due to appear in court in June.