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Palestinian suspected of spying for UAE dies in Turkish prison

Man found hanged after being charged with espionage in connection with murder of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi

In this April 16, 2018 illustrative photo, members of Turkish forces guard the prison complex in Aliaga, Izmir province, western Turkey. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, File)
In this April 16, 2018 illustrative photo, members of Turkish forces guard the prison complex in Aliaga, Izmir province, western Turkey. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, File)

A suspected United Arab Emirates spy who was detained by Turkish authorities ten days ago died by suicide in prison, a Turkish government source and state media said on Monday.

The suspect was found dead in Silivri prison, on the outskirts of Istanbul, state news agency Anadolu reported.

A Turkish justice ministry source confirmed the report to AFP.

The Kan public broadcaster named the man as Zaki Hasan and published a photo of what it said was his passport, which gave his place of birth as Ramallah.

The man was taken into custody with another alleged spy as authorities probed whether they were tied to the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi last October in Istanbul.

The suspect was later formally charged with “military and political” and “international espionage,” according to Anadolu.

The agency said the man, previously reported to be a UAE citizen, hanged himself.

Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 29, 2011. (AP /Virginia Mayo, File)

Khashoggi was killed and dismembered on October 2 after he went to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain paperwork ahead of his upcoming marriage.

While the kingdom initially denied having any knowledge of what happened to the former insider turned critic, Riyadh later blamed rogue agents for his killing.

The Saudi public prosecutor has charged 11 people with Khashoggi’s murder.

Turkey has delicate relations with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, two of the Arab states that imposed a blockade on Qatar, one of Ankara’s close allies.

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