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Brunson, 50, has been charged with espionage as well as aiding outlawed Kurdish militants and an American-based anti-government Turkish cleric in a 2016 coup attempt. Shortly after the possibility of sanctions was first announced by Vice President Mike Pence Thursday, Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter that the U.S.

President Trump, in a tweet last week, called Turkey's prosecution of Brunson "a total disgrace".

It said Brunson's defence had been completed and evidence for the case was nearly all collected. "It would be a farce if it weren't so serious", he added.

"While he is out of jail he is still not free", Pence said, addressing a conference on religious freedom."And to President Erdogan and the Turkish government, I have a message on behalf of the president of the United States of America".

Andrew Brunson's detention deepened a rift between the USA and Turkey.

Brunson faces espionage charges that could lead to a lengthy prison sentence in Turkey, where he has lived for several years. "This can not be allowed to continue", he continued.

"We welcome long overdue news that Pastor Brunson has been moved from prison to house arrest in #Turkey, but it is not enough", Pompeo tweeted. The Turkish government has not dropped the charges, and he still faces the possibility of spending up to 35 years in prison.

Vice President Mike Pence said on Thursday that if Turkey does not take immediate action to free Andrew Craig Brunson, "the United States of America will impose significant sanctions on Turkey".

Turkish court rules that US pastor move from jail to house arrest
US pastor moved to house arrest after two years in prison

Brunson's detention deepened a rift between Washington and Ankara, which are also at odds over the Syrian war and Turkey's plan to buy missile defenses from Russian Federation.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has previously linked Brunson's return to the United States to the extradition of Fethullah Gulen, the cleric Turkey's government holds responsible for the failed July 2016 military coup.

Turkey's case against Mr Brunson has strained relations with its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies and drawn fire from US President Donald Trump.

Erdoğan has previously linked his fate to that of Gülen, whose extradition from the United States has been a long-held demand of Turkish authorities.

Gulen, who denies orchestrating the coup attempt, lives in Pennsylvania.

Brunson, who is from North Carolina and has worked in Turkey for more than 20 years, has been accused of helping the group which Ankara says was behind a failed military coup in 2016.

The Second High Penal Court in the western province of Izmir rejected Andrew Brunson's plea for release, and instead chose to continue listening to the testimonies of witnesses in the next hearing scheduled for October 12. The case was adjourned until October 12.


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