Turkey widens Brunson probe to include wife, U.S. officials - report

Turkish anti-terrorism prosecutors have widened an investigation into the activities of U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson to include his wife, Norine, and two retired U.S. officials, Sabah newspaper reported.

Norine Brunson, former CIA employee Graham Fuller and Kenneth Abney, a retired U.S. special forces soldier, were among 66 people included in the new probe, Sabah said. It provided no details concerning why Brunson’s wife was part of the investigation.

Abney met with Brunson on three separate occasions, according to the newspaper. He now works at a church in Pennsylvania, close to the home of Fethullah Gulen, who Turkey blames for masterminding a failed military coup in July 2016, Sabah said.

Brunson was arrested and jailed following the coup attempt and charged with terrorism offences for his alleged relationship with the Gulen movement and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). Earlier this week, the U.S. government imposed sanctions on two Turkish ministers that were involved in Brunson' detainment and incarceration, saying he was entirely innocent. The Turkish lira slumped to a record low on the announcement.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called once more for Brunson’s release ahead of a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Singapore on Friday. The “clock had run” out for Turkey, he said.

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