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You are here News International Turkey releases U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson after 2 years in captivity

Turkey releases U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson after 2 years in captivity

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Pastor Andrew Brunson released from Turkey detentionLongtime Turkish captive Andrew Brunson was released from house arrest Friday, allowing the pastor to return to the United States after two years in captivity.

Brunson has been in Turkish custody since October 2016 when he was arrested on charges that he spied on the government and aided in a military coup attempt. Diplomatic relations between Washington, D.C., and Ankara have strained during the drawn-out ordeal.

Sources in the White House familiar with the negotiations say the Trump administration struck a deal with Turkey that included easing sanctions on the country.

At a court hearing Friday, Brunson was first sentenced to more than three years in prison but the judge then lifted all judicial controls -- including a travel ban -- based on Brunson's good behavior and time already served.

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