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    State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert speaks during a briefing at the State Department in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017

    State Dept Insists American Pastor on Trial in Turkey Not Guilty

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US government is convinced that American pastor Andrew Brunson who is being tried in Turkey is an innocent man, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a press release.

    "We have seen no credible evidence that Mr. Brunson is guilty of a crime and are convinced that he is innocent," Nauert said on Monday. "We believe that Turkey is a state bound by the rule of law, and we have faith in the Turkish people's commitment to justice. We hope that the judicial system in Turkey will resolve his case in a timely, fair, and transparent manner."

    The American pastor and his wife were detained in October on the Turkish coastal town of Izmir, where he has carried out his ministry for roughly 20 years, US media reported.

    Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan asked Washington to extradite cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara believes was the plotter of the 2016 failed coup attempt, and saying "we will do what we can within our judiciary," hinting at the release of pastor Andrew Brunson.

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