Istanbul, Turkey (CNN)A second appeal to release an American pastor held in Turkey was rejected Wednesday, his lawyer said, even as Turkish courts ordered the release of two Greek soldiers and a senior human rights official.
Turkish courts release detainees but reject US pastor's appeal
Amnesty International said it was "overjoyed" by the news that its chairman in Turkey, Taner Kılıç, was set to be freed later Wednesday by an Istanbul court after being held in detention for over a year.
The Greek soldiers, who had been detained earlier this year and reportedly accused of espionage, were freed on bail Tuesday pending trial, Turkish state news agency Anadolu reported. They flew home on Wednesday, according to Reuters news agency.
The case of Andrew Brunson, an American evangelical pastor whom Turkey accuses of helping to plot a 2016 coup attempt against the Turkish President, has rapidly soured relations between Washington and Ankara, which have announced a series of retaliatory tariffs.
US officials maintain there is no credible evidence against Brunson -- who has been held for almost two years -- and the Trump administration has negotiated for weeks to secure his release.
Brunson's lawyer, Ismail Cem Halavurt, told CNN on Wednesday that an appeal for Brunson's full release had been rejected. He was released to house arrest last month pending his ongoing trial.
"This was my second appeal that was rejected. I am planning to appeal again in 15 to 20 days, thinking there might be a new evidence in the file or there might be a new outcome of talks," the lawyer said.
The rejection of the appeal is subject to a routine review by the Izmir Supreme Court, according to Anadolu. The Supreme Court can either affirm the lower court's decision or order it to reconsider the decision.
Turkey on Wednesday intensified its clash with the United States, announcing heavy new tariffs on some American products including cars, alcohol and tobacco. A day earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for a boycott of US electronics products.
The Trump administration announced plans last week to double US tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from Turkey.