American pastor Andrew Brunson could be released from Turkey and returned to the United States soon, his attorney Jay Sekulow — also a member of President Donald Trump's legal team — said Tuesday.
"We are glad he has been released to house arrest," Sekulow told Fox News' "Fox and Friends" Tuesday. "That was a good first step...I'm encouraged by this move. Allowing our client to go from a Turkish prison, you can't even imagine what that was like, to his home."
The Trump administration has threatened sanctions against Turkey to force Brunson's release, after a court ordered him to home confinement after he spent 21 months in prison.
The Presbyterian minister is accused of helping the group Ankara, which the Turkish government says was behind a failed military coup in 2016. He has denied the charges, and faces up to 35 years in jail if found guilty.
The actual charge, Sekulow said Tuesday, is "Christianization."
"He was sharing the gospel in Turkey, in the Presbyterian tradition," said Sekulow. "When the coup took place, he was in the United States...as the president has called him. He has pretty much been a political hostage."
President Donald Trump is leading the charge, and knows how to negotiate with Turkish President Recep Erdogan, Sekulow added. "I'm confident we will get a good result."
He added that the "administration, the president, Secretary [Mike] Pompeo, Vice President [Mike] Pence and their teams are working diligently on this, as we are," said Sekulow. "We have had great support bipartisan support in the United States Senate. We have had great support also in the United Nations where his case was taken up."
The current case is difficult, he said, because Turkey is a NATO ally.
"It should have been an easier case to get the American released," said Sekulow. "That hasn't happened yet."
Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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