Palestinian family says 'suicide' detainee was tortured in Turkey
CAIRO - The body of a Palestinian who Turkish authorities said committed suicide while in jail was badly mutilated including having his tongue removed, his family said Friday.
Zaki Mubarak's body was this week returned to Egypt and his family hope to bring it in the coming days to Gaza, hid place of origin.
Turkish authorities last month said 55-year-old Mubarak had committed suicide in prison after being accused of spying for the United Arab Emirates.
His brother Zakaria, who is in Cairo, said he did not want to return his brother's body to Gaza until "we get a doctor's report showing he died due to torture and not suicide."
He told AFP he had seen the body in a Cairo hospital.
"His tongue was removed and there were the effects of blows to the head, a deep cut in his foot and the impact of strikes to his chest."
A Turkish justice ministry official rejected the family's allegations.
"The claims are baseless," said the official who declined however to give more information saying the details of the case remained secret.
Mubarak left the Gaza Strip in 2007 after Islamist Hamas seized control of the enclave, his family said.
He had since been based in Bulgaria and Turkey.
He was arrested last month along with another Palestinian accused of spying and later formally charged with "military and political" and "international espionage," according to Turkish state news agency Anadolu.
The arrests of the two Palestinians and the charges brought against them were met with scepticism by Turkey experts in the region who saw political motives having to do with Ankara's regional calculations.