Page last updated at 15:52 GMT, Thursday, 3 April 2008 16:52 UK

Hamas man 'killed' in PA custody

Relative holds up photo of Majed Barghouti
Mr Barghouti was said to have complaint of stomach pains

A group of independent Palestinian MPs investigating the death in custody of a Hamas preacher say he was tortured.

Majed Barghouti, 42, died in February at a Palestinian Authority (PA) intelligence service base in Ramallah.

Hassan Khreishe, MP, said intelligence officers caused the death and urged the PA to punish those responsible.

The MPs viewed Mr Barghouti's body before burial, noting "torture marks" on the legs, back and arms. Security officials say he died of heart failure.

But the group of MPs said tests taken two days before Mr Barghouti's death had not revealed any heart problems.

Mr Khreishe said the prisoner had complained of a stomach ache in custody but "did not receive the necessary care up to his death".

"The intelligence service and its chief [Tawfiq Tirawi] bear the moral and legal responsibility for the death," Mr Khreishe said.

A senior intelligence officer said the injuries were sustained during Mr Barghouti's arrest and from his handcuffs.

The pro-Fatah PA security services have arrested several Hamas members in the West Bank since Hamas wrested power from Fatah forces in the Gaza Strip last year.

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