Turkey convicts U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson but releases him from detention

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US pastor Andrew Craig Brunson escorted by Turkish plain clothes police officers arrives at his house on July 25, 2018 in Izmir. (Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

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ALIAGA, Turkey — A Turkish court convicted an American pastor at the center of a Turkish-American diplomatic dispute of terror charges, but has released him from house arrest and allowed him to leave Turkey.

The court near the western city of Izmir on Friday sentenced Andrew Brunson to three years and one month in prison for the conviction, but since the evangelical pastor has already spent two years in detention, he won’t serve more time.

Brunson, 50, had rejected the espionage and terror-related charges and strongly maintained his innocence.

Lawyer Ismail Cem Halavurt said Brunson was expected to leave Turkey for the United States

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