Turkish court rejects to release U.S. pastor Brunson

Source: Xinhua| 2018-08-15 17:03:28|Editor: mym
Video PlayerClose

ISTANBUL, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- A Turkish court on Wednesday rejected an appeal for U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson to be released from house arrest during his trial, local media reported.

The lawyer of Brunson, Ismail Cem Halavurt, on Tuesday filed an appeal for the second time to a Turkish court in the western province of Izmir to lift his client's house arrest and travel ban.

According to the Hurriyet daily, the 2nd Penal Court rejected Halavurt's petition and sent it to a higher court.

The continued detention of the pastor has increased the tension between the two NATO allies.

Washington imposed sanctions on Turkey, doubling steel and aluminum tariffs over the issue of Brunson, which caused the Turkish currency lira to tumble down against the U.S. dollar.

The 50-year-old pastor, who has been living in Turkey for more than two decades, was detained two years ago and faces up to 35 years in prison if found guilty.

The pastor was accused of espionage and having links to a network led by the U.S.-based outlawed cleric Fethullah Gulen and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Gulen was deemed by Ankara as being behind a failed coup that took place in July 2016.

Brunson's next hearing is scheduled for Oct. 12.