ANKARA, Turkey – Turkey's state-run news agency says a witness testifying anonymously against a U.S. pastor claimed that the American helped Kurdish militants and aimed to create a Christian Kurdish state.
Anadolu Agency said Pastor Andrew Craig Brunson rejected the claim, however, in the second session of his trial on Monday, insisting that he never permitted "politics in church."
The 50-year-old evangelical pastor from Black Mountain, North Carolina, faces up 35 years in prison in Turkey on charges that he aided terror groups and engaged in espionage. The pastor of the Izmir Resurrection Church denies any wrongdoing.
The case has strained ties between Turkey and the United States. U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted in Brunson's defense last month, saying: "They call him a Spy, but I am more a Spy than he is."