In the first hearing of US Pastor Andrew Craig Brunson, the arrest was decided. The hearing which began on April 16thin Izmir 2ndHeavy Penal Court was postponed to May 7th, 2018.
Brunson, who did not accept the accusations in the hearing of April, asked to be released but his demand was refused.
US Senators’ Letter to Erdogan for Brunson
66 members of the US Senate wrote a letter to President Erdoğan for the release of Andrew Brunson.
Senatorswrote the letter in the leadership of Republican Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina where is Brunson’s hometown and Democrat Jeanne Shaheen. The senators gave their support to the efforts aimed at strengthening the cooperation between American and Turkish officials, but they said “the Turkish government is going beyond the legitimate measures against the planners of the coup d’état in Turkey and we are deeply disturbed that it has harmed its own democratic traditions and the rule of law.”
There are signatures of 43 Republicans and 23 Democrat senators in the letter.
Trump’s call on the Social Media for Brunson’s release
US President Donald Trump recently did a call on Twitter for Brunson’s release, who was accused of linking to the Gulen organization. Trump said: “They call him a spy. I am more spy than him.” Trump also said that he hoped that the pastor “would be allowed to return to the perfect family he belonged to.”
President Erdogan suggested last year that Fethullah Gülen, who lives in the Pennsylvania state of the USA, should be exchanged for Pastor Brunson. The US State Department spokesman Heather Nauert answered the proposal, “I cannot even imagine that we will enter such a path.”
In order to follow the hearing in Izmir, US Ambassador Sam Brawnback in charge of International Freedom of Belief, came to Izmir with Senator Tom Tillis and made a statement to the media. Brawnback said: “It has been a big disappointment for me. I think the information presented here today showed more clearly why he was innocent. “