Trump tweets support for American pastor on trial in Turkey

American pastor Andrew Brunson is on trial in Turkey on charges he was linked to a group accused of orchestrating a failed 2016 military coup.
American pastor Andrew Brunson is on trial in Turkey on charges he was linked to a group accused of orchestrating a failed 2016 military coup.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - US President Donald Trump voiced his support on Tuesday (April 17) for Pastor Andrew Brunson, who is on trial in Turkey on charges he was linked to a group accused of orchestrating a failed 2016 military coup, in a case that has compounded strains in US-Turkish relations.

"Pastor Andrew Brunson, a fine gentleman and Christian leader in the United States, is on trial and being persecuted in Turkey for no reason," Mr Trump tweeted.

"They call him a spy, but I am more a spy than he is. Hopefully he will be allowed to come home to his beautiful family where he belongs!"

Brunson, who has lived in Turkey for more than two decades, denies the charges.

He faces up to 35 years in prison.