Family of dead Palestinian accused of spying in Turkey says he was ‘executed’

Published: Updated:

The brother of a Palestinian man who died in a Turkish prison on suspicion of allegedly spying is refuting claims by Turkey that his brother committed suicide, and instead says that he was “executed.”

“I have a voice recording of the lawyer who I was in contact with through Zaki Mubarak, of reports that he was assassinated from inside the prisons of the Turkish government,” Zainuldin Mubarak told Al Arabiya.

On Monday, it was confirmed that Zaki Mubarak died while in custody, and Turkish authorities called his death a suicide. Mubarak’s family are skeptical of the suicide scenario and called for an investigation into the matter. Turkish authorities are yet to release the body or provide any evidence that would point to a suicide.

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.

But Mubarak’s brother refutes the Turkish claims.

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

RELATED - Palestinian charged by Turkey for spying wanted to immigrate to Europe: family

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

“If Turkey, by executing my brother Zaki Mubarak, was trying to settle political scores with other countries on his behalf, then this is something we completely refuse. My brother’s blood is on the hands of the Turkish government,” Zainuldin added.

In an earlier interview with Al Arabiya, Zaki’s son Hasan said his father had gone to Turkey to search for a job and the family when they lost contact with him.

“My father traveled to Turkey to make a living, to build us a future. We were surprised by his arrest since April 4, and we were more shocked by the false accusations against him,” Yusuf said.