Egypt orders autopsy of Palestinian who died in Turkish jail

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The Egypt Public Prosecution Office has decided to perform another autopsy on the body of Zaki Mubarak, the Palestinian man who was arrested in Turkey on spying charges and died in mysterious circumstances, with Ankara alleging his suicide and his family accusing Turkey of killing him.

Egypt’s attorney general Nabil Sadeq has decided to investigate Mubarak’s “murder” and ordered a re-examination of the body to identify the cause of death.

In a phone call with Al Arabiya, Zaki Mubarak’s lawyer, Sharif Sudqi, said, “We saw that the corpse is in a very bad condition and has been subjected to brutal torture. He has been killed in a barbaric way. We requested a corpse dissection from the attorney general, even though we knew the legal hardships, since the crime has been committed outside Egypt and the victim is not Egyptian.”

“I was in shock and amazement. I did not even recognize my brother,” Mubarak’s brother Zakaria said after receiving the body in Cairo. “His daughters were able to identify him through distinctive features,” he added.

Mubarak’s brother and lawyer both confirmed that the body will be on its way to Gaza as soon as the autopsy, which is scheduled for Tuesday evening in Cairo's Zeinhom morgue, is done.

Mubarak’s body arrived in Cairo from Turkey on May 16, along with a medical report from the Turkish authorities written in Turkish, English, and Arabic, according to Sudqi.

“All three reports do not have a death certificate but include records of injuries and bruises,” Sudqi told Al Arabiya.

“The report contradicted itself. It stated that the result of death was natural but at the same time, it said that the cause of death was due to several injuries. International courts will review all documents,” Zakaria said.

Should the expected cause of death be proven, Sudqi says the case will be raised to the International Criminal Court, the European Court of Human Rights in France, and several other entities.

Hussam Toukan, a doctor delegated by the Palestinian embassy in Cairo, had earlier said that performing any new autopsy on the body “is not possible as the body was completely decomposed,” in a short report that caused outrage among Mubarak’s family members.

Zakaria said that Toukan’s report did not help the family’s quest for justice.

“The body is completely empty. Even the tongue does not exist,” he told Al Arabiya from Cairo.

The Maat Foundation for Peace, Development, and Human Rights filed a complaint on Mubarak’s death to UN special rapporteurs on extrajudicial executions and torture.