American Pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been imprisoned in Turkey for nearly a year on terrorism charges, now faces new charges, including espionage.
The 48-year old Brunson, a missionary from Black Mountain, North Carolina, was detained last year and later charged with “membership in an armed terroristic organization."
Last week, the government filed four new charges against Brunson, including acquiring secret political and military information and attempting to destroy constitutional order and overthrow the Turkish Parliament, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Brunson, who has lived and worked in Turkey as a missionary for 23 years, has denied all the charges.
He and his wife were charged with immigration violations. Norine Brunson was later released.
Both President Trump and Vice President Pence have personally asked Turkish officials to release Brunson.
Jay Sekulow, an attorney representing Brunson, told the Journal, "The charges that are leveled against him are absolutely false.”
Sekulow also said Turkey is keeping records of the case against Brunson sealed, making a defense of the jailed pastor extremely difficult.
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