Pastor Brunson’s 3rd hearing to be held in July
Andrew Craig Brunson was in the court for the second hearing today. The court decided to continue detention for the pastor. The next hearing will be on July 18th.
In a second hearing which held in Izmir’s Aliağa district today, a secret witness claimed that Brunson was trying to establish a “Christian Kurdish state”. The secret witness blamed Brunson for providing the coordinates to the US Army in Syria to help YPG with weapon supply.
Brunson once again denied the accusations describing them “embarrassing and disgusting.”
The indictment says that Brunson has made some contacts with Fethullah Gülen’s movement and committed crimes on behalf of the PKK and Gülen. The secret witnesses who testified at the second hearing also gave similar assertion. Brunson said: “I am helping the Syrian refugees and they are claiming me for helping the PKK. I’m building a church, they are saying ‘You get help from Gülen’. ”
Brunson who came to the court for the first time on April 16, has denied the charges, saying he did not do anything illegal and cried.
“There is evidence that Brunson was arrested for his belief,” said Ismail Cem Halavurt, his lawyer who spoke at the Reuters news agency .
Brunson began to cry during the reading of the decision of the prosecutor for his detention to continue, “I want to return home” he said. The next hearing is postponed to July 18th.
Pastor Brunson is being sentenced for 35-year prison. US President Donald Trump had personally requested his extradition from Turkey.