Pastor Brunson’s trial begins today
The trial of Pastor Andrew Brunson, who was detained more than a year ago in Izmir, started today at the İzmir 2nd Heavy Penal Court.
According to the Posta newspaper, a large number of foreign press members were also among the audience in the trial that started at the İzmir Şakran T Type Closed Execution Campus. His wife Norine Brunson also sat in the courtroom reserved for his accused relatives and followed her notes during the reading of the summary of the indictment.
Senator ThomTillisfrom North Carolina and Lawyer Sam Brownback from the Ambassador at Large Religious Freedom alsocame to the prison campus.
At the beginning of the trial in morning at 09.30 Izmir 2nd Heavy Penal Court, the tribunal boardasked Brunson “Do you speak Turkish”? Brunson’s response was “I know little”. The board asked him “Will you defend yourself in Turkish?”, he answered “I will do it in Turkish. If I do not understand, ask. “
The President of the Court recalled that two sworn experts were also assured and were in the hall. Prior to the summary of the indictment, the identification was done. The defendant said that he resides in Izmir, has no criminal record, and he is doing a PhD. He denied that he has citizenship of Spain and Germany and stated that he was a US citizen.
THE INDICTMENT WAS READ FOR 45 MINUTES
Then the indictment was read. After reading a brief summary of it about 45 minutes, the presiding judge reminded the defendant Brunson that he could use his right to remain silent before making a defense and may ask for additional time for the defense. “I want to do my defense now,” Brunson said.
‘I AM A SERVANT OF GOD’
Andrew Craig Brunson said “I am a servant of God. In 1993 we moved to Turkey with my wife. My only goal was to explain Jesus Christ and raise him students. In 2000 I moved to Izmir and opened the New Birth Church. I did nothing wrong. The government has always controlled us. I did nothing against Turkey. On the contrary, I love Turkey. I pray to Turkey for 25 years. I’m innocent. I want the truth to emerge now. I do not accept any of your arguments and accusations. I did not participate in these activities. FETO is an insult to my belief. I am a Christian pastor. I would not participate in an Islamic movement. I want to raise students for Jesus Christ. My belief and sect would not accept such a thing.”
Andrew Craig Brunson, a US citizen church pastor who was arrested in Izmir for committing a crime on behalf of terrorist organizations is being sentenced for 35 years in prison. Brunson’s defense is ongoing.