US pastor reaches home in western Turkey

By Meric Urer

IZMIR, Turkey (AA) – U.S. pastor Andrew Craig Brunson reached his house in Izmir, western Turkey following a court ruling on his release.

He was accompanied by his wife, lawyer and Washington’s Turkey Charge d’affaires Jeffrey M. Hovenier.

An Izmir court sentenced the pastor to three years and 45 days in prison, but he will not serve the time in jail.

The court credited his time spent in detention, and ended his house arrest and travel ban.

The pastor was arrested on Dec. 9, 2016 on charges of being member of Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO). On July 25, citing Brunson's health problems, an Izmir court ordered him moved from jail to house arrest.

Brunson's charges include spying for the PKK — listed as a terrorist group by both the U.S. and Turkey — and FETO, the group behind the defeated coup attempt in Turkey of July 2016.

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