REPORT: Trump asked Israel to release Turkish suspect who funded Hamas
A Washington Post article suggests Israel deported a Turkish woman after having already indicted her for providing assistance to the terror group Hamas, in a deal to assist the White House to get Turkey to release American Pastor Andrew Bruson, who’s been imprisoned almost two years. – Watch Video: VP Mike Pence threatens Erdogan
By Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff
Reports that a Turkish detainee in Israel was released as a result of a deal with the United States in return for the release of U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson in Turkey are “completely baseless,” a senior Turkish official said on Friday.
Earlier Friday, and Israeli official said that Israel freed an alleged Turkish terrorist following a request from U.S. President Donald Trump. The official was commenting on a report in the Washington Post that the deal was part of a failed White House bid to get Ankara to release an American detainee.
Escorted by Prison guards, Ebru Ozkan, was arrested in Israel in June 2018 on charges of rendering support to a terror organization, Hamas. – Screenshot: Ynet video clip
The Washington Post reported on Thursday that Trump asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a July 14 phone call to let Ozkan go in a “trade” for Andrew Brunson, a U.S. pastor who has spent 21 months in Turkish detention.
“I can confirm that there was such a request by President Trump,” an Israeli official said on condition of anonymity.
Brunson, who denies charges of links to a group Ankara says was behind a failed 2016 coup, was moved to house arrest on Wednesday – prompting the Trump administration to threaten sanctions against NATO-power Turkey.
Brunson, who denies charges of links to a group Ankara says was behind a failed 2016 coup, was moved to house arrest on Wednesday – prompting the Trump administration to threaten sanctions against fellow NATO-power Turkey.
At the time of Ozkan’s release, a different Israeli official told Reuters that upon review, prosecutors deemed her case too weak to warrant pursuing. But her Israeli lawyer, Omar Khamaisi, said on Friday that the indictment against his client had yet to be withdrawn.
Arriving in Istanbul on July 16, Ozkan said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had been “kind enough to be very interested in my case.”
Khamaisi said he was unaware of the reported diplomatic deal around her release.
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