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Video Allegedly Shows Last Moments of British Journalist Found Dead in Istanbul Airport

Turkish media outlets published CCTV footage said to show British media worker and former BBC journalist Jacqueline Sutton in Istanbul's Ataturk airport shortly before her death.
October 20, 2015, 7:15pm
Captura de pantalla del vídeo por Yeni Akit.

Turkish media outlets have published CCTV footage said to show British media worker and former BBC journalist Jacqueline Sutton in Istanbul's Ataturk airport shortly before her death.

The video, which was initially posted by Islamist, pro-Government daily Yeni Akit, could not be independently verified, and while described as having been taken on Saturday, was not time stamped.

Sutton, who was acting Iraq director for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), was was found dead at the airport late Saturday after arriving in Turkey on a scheduled stopover from London to her base in Erbil, northern Iraq. Local press quoted airport staff as saying that she'd missed her connecting flight, become upset and tearful after admitting she wasn't able to buy a replacement ticket, and was later discovered hanged with her own bootlaces in a toilet. A number of her friends and colleagues have publicly voiced doubt over this version of events.


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The footage shows a woman resembling Sutton moving through the airport wearing an indigo hoody, jeans and white trainers and carrying two bags. She is seen first handing what appears to be paperwork and identification to airport officials then passing through a security barrier and later in a waiting area.

If verified, the video raises further questions about Sutton's death. The woman seen in the video appears to be calm and unhurried, and at one points holds an additional plastic carrier bag, suggesting she may have purchased something in the airport, potentially contradicting the reports of her being unable to afford a new ticket.

Sutton was appointed to her post with IWPR, which provides support for local journalists in conflict-stricken countries, at the end of June after her predecessor Ammar Al Shahbander was killed by a car bomb attack in Baghdad on May 2. She was travelling back to Iraq after an October 13 memorial service for Sahbander held in London.

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The group's Executive Director Anthony Borden has called for a "detailed, forensic investigation" of the circumstances surrounding her death.

"All of her friends and colleagues who knew her better than me find it impossible to understand. It doesn't accord with what anything anyone knows about her," Borden said. "There's a matter of boot laces — I'm not even sure the boots she was wearing even had laces. If she wasn't wearing laces, how did she kill herself using boot laces?" Her footwear is not seen clearly enough in the footage to make out whether or not this is the case.

Sutton had previously worked for the BBC World Service, as well as with the United Nations before she worked with IWPR.

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