Turkey is withholding the body of alleged Palestinian spy, says brother

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Zakaria Mubarak, brother of Zaki Mubarak who was charged with espionage by Turkey, said he is still waiting to receive the body of his deceased brother.

Zakaria Mubarak told Al Arabiya that he does not know the reason behind Turkey withholding his brother’s body.

“We are not in the position of the accused who needs to prove his innocence, but Turkey must prove its innocence,” he added.

Zaki Mubarak and his friend Samer Shaaban were detained in Istanbul in April on allegations of spying. Earlier this week, Istanbul’s prosecutor’s office said that Zaki Mubarak, a Palestinian, hung himself in prison.

Turkish authorities are yet to release the body or provide any evidence that would point to a suicide.

Zaki Mubarak’s family has rejected the charges against him and Turkey’s allegation that he killed himself.

Zakaria Mubarak told Al Arabiya that he has documents that prove his brother’s innocence – the prosecution’s report as well as audio recordings of lawyers and friends in several countries, in which all Zaki Mubarak talked about was legitimate trade deals.

“I also have paperwork from an operating company that he established in Bulgaria and that has done a lot of legitimate commercial work,” he said, adding that Zaki Mubarak’s relationship with Shaaban was a professional one.

He added that the family is working to form a legal team to demand an international investigation into his brother’s “murder.”

On Monday, Zaki Mubarak’s daughter called for the release of camera footage from his cell in the prison where he was being held, adding that the information about him being an agent of the UAE was fabricated.

Along with Shabaan, Zaki Mubarak was one of two suspects charged with international, political, and military espionage by Turkey. The pair were arrested on April 19 and had allegedly confessed to spying on Arab nationals, a senior Turkish official said at the time.

Another of Zaki Mubarak’s brothers also refuted the Turkish claims.

“We have verified information from his lawyer that there were no confessions from Zaki Mubarak,” Zainuldin Mubarak told Al Arabiya. “There were absolutely no confessions from him as opposed to what has been promoted by global media outlets.”

The family accused Turkey of trying to “settle political scores” with other countries and that Zaki Mubarak paid the ultimate price.