Turkish court releases US pastor Andrew Brunson

A Turkish court on Friday sentenced U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson to three years and 1.5 months in prison.

Izmir Heavy Penal Court No.2, in accordance with its ruling, ended his house arrest and travel ban.

Brunson left his house — where he had been under house arrest since July 25 — under strict security measures and was brought to the prison and courthouse complex in Aliaga district for the trial.

Brunson had been arrested on December 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 the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the defeated coup attempt in Turkey of July 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.

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