A Turkish court has rejected an appeal for American Christian pastor Andrew Brunson, who has already spent almost two years in prison on terrorism and espionage charges, to be released from house arrest.

“Although the suspect has been released from the jail he was imprisoned, this does not mean there has been a change in the evidence against him (Brunson),” said a ruling issued by the Second Heavy Penalty Court in Turkey's western province of Izmir on Tuesday.

The “strong criminal suspicions” against the suspect had not changed their nature, the ruling further said.

Meanwhile, Brunson’s lawyer, Ismail Cem Halavurt, who had filled the appeal, said he had not been notified of a court ruling about his 52-year-old client. Brunson’s next hearing as part of the trial is scheduled for October 12.

The American pastor, who has lived in Turkey for more than two decades, was released from jail to get under house arrest on Wednesday. The court ordered him to wear an electronic bracelet at all times and prevented him from traveling outside of the country.

Brunson was arrested in December 2016 and later indicted on charges of having links with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group and movement of the US-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of having masterminded the July 2016 coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Brunson has already denied the charges, calling them “shameful and disgusting.” If evangelical pastor is found guilty, he will face up to 35 years in jail.

The controversial case has mounted tensions between Ankara and Washington. US President Donald Trump has repeatedly demanded Brunson’s release and said on Twitter earlier this month that the pastor’s detention over terrorism and espionage charges was “a total disgrace.” He also called the prisoner “a great Christian, family man and wonderful human being.”

Last week, Turkish Foreign Minister twitted: “No one dictates Turkey. We will never tolerate threats from anybody. Rule of law is for everyone; no exception.”