>> US pastor Andrew Brunson is on his way home. Taking off from the Turkish city of Izmir after two years in detention on allegations of terrorism. US President Donald Trump tweeting Pastor Brunson just released, will be home soon. Perhaps Turkey\s most expensive prisoner, Brunson became the center of a diplomatic crisis between Turkey and the US that led to economic pain for Turkey.
It saw the country's lira tumbling to a record low and global markets scrambling to deal with the fallout. We heard from witnesses today inside the court that said that previous testimonies had been misrepresented and that they were inaccurate. Brunson listening to some of those testimonies remarked at one point, I don't see how any of this is related to me.
And just before that decision was handed down, he said that he was an innocent man, that he loves Jesus, but also that he loves Turkey. Pastor Brunson may originally have been from North Carolina but he's lived in Turkey now for over 20 years, and he will probably have to now leave his home here for good.
Just as he was told that he would be able to go free, he broke down into tears, his wife came up to the low partition, and they hugged. Brunson's release will likely score points with US evangelical christians. A big part of Trump's base and potentially important with the November elections coming.
And while this decision is a first step to easing tensions between two NATO allies, attention may now turn to the fate of other US nationals including local employees of the US Consulate also in detention