Mr. Brunson’s lawyer, Ismail Cem Halavurt, told Reuters one more upper court still needs to rule on the case. Mr. Halavurt said the decision could come sooner than the typical appeal process time frame of three to seven days.
“A ruling can come tomorrow, or even tonight,” he said, “These are appeals that require fast decision-making because they are related to an individual’s freedoms.”
Mr. Brunson is being held on terrorism charges after being tied to Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen and the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party. Turkish authorities also accused him of being involved in the attempted 2016 military coup. The pastor has been imprisoned for over a year on these charges.
The U.S. slapped harsh sanctions on Turkish officials at the beginning of August in response to Mr. Brunson’s plight. The White House has repeatedly called for his release.
A total disgrace that Turkey will not release a respected U.S. Pastor, Andrew Brunson, from prison. He has been held hostage far too long. @RT_Erdogan should do something to free this wonderful Christian husband & father. He has done nothing wrong, and his family needs him!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 19, 2018
The U.S. and Turkey are also caught up in a tense trade war that recently escalated when President Trump decided to double tariffs for Turkey. Imported steel is now taxed at 50 percent and aluminum 20 percent.
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