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US pastor Brunson’s lawyer challenges Turkish jail sentence

Muslim Times(Web Desk) – The lawyer for US evangelical pastor Andrew Brunson has appealed to a Turkish court to challenge the jail sentence his client received last week.

The lawyer said Wednesday that the verdict “contravened the law and procedures,” according to a copy of the application seen by Reuters.

Also, the prosecutor in Brunson’s case challenged the verdict, citing the same reason, a copy of that application showed.

Both documents showed that detailed appeals will be prepared once the court verdict are delivered in writing.

Brunson was sentenced to more than three years for helping terrorist organizations, but was allowed to return to the United States and met President Donald Trump.

The 50-year-old man was indicted by a Turkish court on charges of having links with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group and the movement of the US-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of having masterminded the July 2016 coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Brunson had denied the charges as “shameful.”

Trump threatened to impose “large sanctions” on Turkey in July over the detention of Brunson and demanded his immediate release by Ankara.

“The United States will impose large sanctions on Turkey for their long time detainment of Pastor Andrew Brunson, a great Christian, family man and wonderful human being,” Trump tweeted at the time. “He is suffering greatly. This innocent man of faith should be released immediately!”

Shortly before Trump’s tweet in July, US Vice President Mike Pence also leveled a similar threat directly at Turkey’s president.

A Turkish court finally ordered his release after his imprisonment had led to a growing deterioration of ties between Ankara and Washington as NATO partners and key military allies.

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