17 October 2018

Prosecution demands 10-year jail term

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The prosecutor in American pastor Andrew Brunson's case demanded up to 10 years in prison for terror charges while asking judicial control measures to be lifted. reports citing DS that the trial of Brunson resumed on Friday with the fourth hearing in western Izmir province.

The prosecutor asked the court to end the house arrest and foreign travel ban of Brunson, raising the prospect he could be freed after two years of detention. His lawyer has said would mean he would be free to leave the country immediately.

If the court agrees to the requests, Brunson could return back to the U.S. immediately and thus end the friction over his case that caused a crisis in relations between NATO allies Ankara and Washington.

Earlier on Friday, Brunson was taken from his house -- where he had been under house arrest since July 25 -- under strict security measures and brought to the prison and courthouse complex in Aliağa district for the trial.

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 the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) -- the group behind the defeated coup attempt in Turkey of July 2016. He was detained in October 2016.

Turkey and the U.S. have faced rocky relations following Washington's imposition of sanctions over Brunson's detention.

Political tensions between the two countries sparked worries in the markets after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to use economic pressure to secure Brunson's release.

2018.10.12 / 17:53
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