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Turkey Says UAE Spy Suspect Committed Suicide in Prison


A man held by Turkey on suspicion of spying for the United Arab Emirates has committed suicide by hanging himself in prison, the Istanbul prosecutor’s office said on Monday.



The suspect, named as Zaki Y. M. Hasan, was found hanging from the bathroom door in his one-person cell in Silivri prison, west of Istanbul, when guards arrived to give him food on Sunday morning, the prosecutor’s office statement said.

It said the man had been registered in a roll-call that morning. An investigation has been launched and the Istanbul forensics institute has carried out an autopsy, the statement added.

The dead man was one of two suspects charged with international, political and military espionage. The pair were arrested on April 19 and had confessed to spying on Arab nationals, a senior Turkish official said at the time.

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UAE officials were not immediately available for comment on the death and there has been no official statement following Turkey’s announcement of the arrests.

Investigators are examining whether the arrival in Turkey of one of the detainees was related to the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi six months ago.

According to the senior Turkish official, one of the two men arrived in Turkey in October, days after Khashoggi was killed, while the other arrived later to help his colleague.

The CIA and some Western countries believe the Crown Prince, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, ordered the killing, which Saudi officials deny. The Saudi public prosecutor has indicted 11 unidentified suspects on charges of ordering and committing the crime, including five who could face the death penalty.

Erdogan has urged the United States to put its weight behind the investigation into the Khashoggi killing and not to set the matter aside because of its ties with Riyadh.

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