North Carolina Pastor Andrew Brunson is expected to be released from detention in Turkey and returned to the U.S. after a secret deal has been worked out, according to senior Trump administration officials, NBC News reported Thursday.
The secret deal is reportedly tied to a commitment to ease economic sanctions on Turkey and will lead to some charges being dropped against Brunson at his next court hearing Friday, sources told NBC News.
"We continue to believe Pastor Brunson is innocent, and the hearing on Friday is another opportunity for the Turkish judicial system to free an American citizen," a senior administration official told NBC News.
Turkey had been close to releasing Brunson before amid detention for charges of aiding terrorist groups. It had moved Brunson from prison to house arrest in July.
One senior administration official express skepticism Turkey is going to carry through on its end of the deal Friday, because there had been and agreement to release him before that had fallen through, according to the report.
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