US Pastor Brunson Convicted, But Released On Time Served

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Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

Update 2: Here’s Trump taking credit for Brunson’s release:

* * *

Update: as noted below, Turkey has announced a “Schrodinger” sentence of Pastor Brunson, who was both sentenced for 3 years, and also released for time served in prison. From Reuters:

  • COURT SENTENCES U.S. PASTOR TO THREE YEARS IN PRISON
  • COURT CONVICTS, BUT FREES PASTOR BRUNSON ON TIME SERVED
  • TURKISH COURT RULES TO RELEASE U.S. PASTOR BRUNSON FROM HOUSE ARREST

This means that Brunson can now come back to the US. At the same time, Turkey announced it would keep an Adana consulate officer imprisoned just so Erdogan does not seem too much of a pushover.

* * *

It appears that Trump’s strong-arm tactics with Turkey have yielded another success.

On Friday, a Turkish prosecutor called for a jail sentence of 10 years for a U.S. Christian pastor on Friday, while also asking the court to lift judicial controls, a move that would allow Andrew Brunson to leave the country immediately. The prosecution’s odd request would mean that the US pastor can be released even if he is convicted, pending appeals procedures, effectively providing a loophole for Brunson to leave the country even as he is “sentenced” allowing Erdogan to safe face while the US pastor returns to the US.

The prosecutor in the trial against Brunson paved the way for Brunson’s release after key witnesses backtracked from their implicating testimonies in today’s hearing, Hurriyet reported. The fourth hearing against Andrew Brunson began at 10:40 a.m. in a prison complex in the Aliağa district of the coastal city of İzmir. As a CNN journalist noted, today’s reversal took place after some witnesses “changed their previous testimonies.”

One of the witnesses, Büşra Fatma Ün, said she had never heard before that the members of the illegal PKK were treated at a hospital owned by a friend of Brunson and were then sent to Syria to fight.

Another witness, who was unidentified, said he had never seen the members of which the Turkish authorities label as FETÖ in a prayer house by Brunson. He said he had heard it only as a rumor.

On the other hand, another unidentified witness also backtracked from his claim that a Syrian member of Brunson’s congregation was making bombs for terror attacks. Retracting his earlier statements in the indictment, the witness said he is a nationalist and views all Syrians as terrorists.

* * *

While the Turkish judge is not expected to acquit the U.S. pastor in the latest hearing of his trial on terrorism charges, CNN Turk television reported, the court will instead make an interim ruling. Such a decision could mean an adjournment of the trial, or the release of Brunson pending his next hearing.

Brunson has been detained in Turkey since 2016 on terrorism charges. The United States is calling for his release and has imposed sanctions on the NATO member as his internment continues.

After news of the imminent release, the lira rose 0.5 percent to 5.88 per dollar at 2:49 p.m. in Istanbul, adding to gains made late on Thursday on speculation Brunson would be freed.

US Pastor Brunson Convicted, But Released On Time Served

As we reported previously, on Thursday NBC reported that Brunson will be released and be allowed to return to the United States as part of a secret deal reached between Washington and Ankara.

Once Brunson is released, it would pave the way for a reduction in the Halkbank fine, some US waivers on Turkey purchasing Iran crude and potentially some IMF support down the road.

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  • 1691

    And what was the pastor doing in a Muslim country? Preaching? He he he. Sure.

    • Smaug

      Yeah, we send pastors all over and we’re mighty proud of the ones that brave persecutions like this. But you really don’t care about what you actualy believe, don’t you. I know one guy at church who makes a trip to Ecuador every year.

      • Mike

        Because evangelical zionist are your main patrons you Israeli sack of shit.

    • Brother Ma

      Brunson needs a good shooting. I am Christian and i know he wasThe US man on the ground coordinating ISIS inTurkey with Erdogan’s blessing. All this before Erdogan went rogue of course.

  • Sinbad2

    The CIA gets its man back, now they will have to retire him, no more secret meetings with ISIS for this guy.
    The US will still crush the Turkish economy, they never keep a bargain.

    • SG

      A national economy always recovers at some point, depending on the number of skilled individuals in that particular country. Any developed or developing Western country (Russia is a Western country despite being split between two continents) has enough individuals to recover, and so do all developed Asian countries and some developing Asian countries.

      The US economy of course will collapse at some point too, however its economy as well as the economies of NATO/EU states (especially the major European ones and smaller ones in Western/Central and Northern Europe), but these economies will recover and it wouldn’t take decades to do so, unless we become overwhelmed with unskilled people and backward cultures from 3rd world countries (Sub-Saharan Africa, etc) to the extent that we become a minority in our own homelands.

      https://youtu.be/nguW1uBtIyQ

      • Sinbad2

        “depending on the number of skilled individuals in that particular country.”

        And that’s why the US will not recover. The US imports most of its skilled workers.
        As the US has downgraded its education system, it has downgraded its future.

        • SG

          No it does not import most of its skilled workers and downgrading the education system (a lot of which is over exaggerated) does not mean that it cannot improve its education system in the future.

          Have you ever even been to the US? You do realize that it was a first world country before WW2 right (as well as before the colonization of Hawaii and the annexation of Spanish colonies in the Atlantic and Pacific)? Despite what is mentioned in alternative and Russian media, most of the US economy is not based on military spending, as the Federal Reserve (a consortium of privately owned banks owned by extremely wealthy jewish families like the Rothschilds, etc) ensures that the US government is chained by usury through borrowing large amounts of money at exorbitant interest rates.

          Russia also colonized other people’s territory, from the Caucasus to Siberia, Central Asia, and large swathes of China; they also took part in the colonization of China’s port cities which is how Japan annexed Harbin after the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-1905. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cc707c3a7fd90603d1ffe5733c0b015ea0c7cdad4fe4c1561514a5189d647c77.jpg

          https://youtu.be/g2pbdcVwCUk

  • Lazy Gamer

    It is frightening when corroborative evidence can be manufactured. Well there was no false testimony since it was just misinterpreted. lol Who came up with this!?
    Will the US really live up to its secret promises to erdogan? lol

    • Smaug

      You and I know none of this had anything to do with the evidences, so can we please dispence with the bull?

      • Mike

        The only bull is the shit you dispense here mossad boy.

  • H Eccles

    geez… talk about nobbling the witness.. this just takes the p**s

  • Smaug

    Dear South Front: We both know the trial and sentencing has nothing to do with the evidence, so can we please dispense with the bull. This is Turkey’s way of saying that they’ll let him go because America says to but they’re not sorry and don’t come back.

    • Mike

      If you don’t like it quit coming you fucking al-queda supporting piece of shit shlomo.