Palestinian 'suicide' detainee badly mutilated in Turkey

Zaki Mubarak's family says his tongue was removed, there were effects of blows to his head, deep cut in his foot, impact of strikes to his chest.

Zaki Mubarak's body is in Cairo hospital

His family is waiting for a doctor’s report before returning body to Gaza

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, where he originates from.

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 said 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," the official said, declining to give more information saying the details of the case remained secret.

Mubarak, a former member of the Palestinian intelligence services, left the Gaza Strip in 2007 after Islamists 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 alleged spy and later formally charged with "military and political" and "international espionage", according to Turkish state news agency Anadolu.

Media had speculated he was allied to Mohammed Dahlan, a former ally and now rival of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas based in the UAE.

Turkey has been investigating claims the two men were linked to the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist killed in the country's Istanbul consulate last year.

Mubarak's family deny the allegations.