US preacher faces terror charges in Turkey

Prosecutors demand up to 35-year jail term for Pastor Brunson for allegedly committing crimes for terror groups

US preacher faces terror charges in Turkey

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkish prosecutors have demanded up to 35 years of imprisonment for American Pastor Andrew Craig Brunson for allegedly committing crimes on behalf of terrorist organizations.

The indictment prepared by the Public Prosecutor’s Office in the Aegean province of Izmir following one-and-a*half-year-long investigation was accepted by the 2nd High Penal Court in the province on Friday.

He was arrested in Izmir on Dec. 9, 2016 over the accusation of committing crimes on behalf of the PKK terror group and the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), a group behind the defeated coup attempt in July 2016.

Prosecutors demanded 15 years of imprisonment for committing crimes on behalf of terror organizations without being a member, while up to 20 years were sought for political or military espionage.

Brunson is accused of carrying out espionage and organizational activities across Turkey under the guise of missionary operations, being linked to FETO and PKK members, and interfering into Turkey’s internal affairs.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup attempt of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

The indictment said Brunson was allegedly involved in converting Kurds to Christianity and aiming to establish a Kurdish state for them.

“It was understood that some of the churches’ executives and priests were trying to take root in our country by establishing associations under the guise of a missionary operation. [They were] aiming to divide our country into a few pieces and give a small part to the administration of the FETO terror group,” said the indictment citing several statements from witnesses.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 18 Mart 2018, 10:36