TURKEY – Pastor Andrew Brunson is Free!

New York Times | Oct. 12, 2018

SAKRAN, Turkey — A Turkish court on Friday ordered the release of the American pastor Andrew Brunson from house arrest, a move that will end his 24-month imprisonment and allow him to fly home, signaling a truce of sorts in a heated diplomatic dispute between Turkey and the United States.

Mr. Brunson was sentenced to three years, one month and 15 days in prison. But the judge lifted all judicial controls — including a ban on travel — because of a reduction for good behavior and in view of time served, making him free to leave the country immediately.

He left the courthouse by car shortly after the decision was announced, and American officials following the case said he would return home to Izmir before departing for the United States on Saturday morning.

The Trump administration had pressed hard for the release of Mr. Brunson, an evangelical pastor who runs the small Resurrection Church in Izmir.

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