Jacky Sutton 'suicide': calls for 'open' investigation into death

Associates of former BBC reporter cast doubt on reports of her 'suicide' at Istanbul airport

Jacky Sutton

Colleagues of the former BBC journalist Jacky Sutton are calling for a "transparent" investigation into her death.

The 50-year-old reportedly took her own life by hanging herself in the toilets of Istanbul airport on Saturday night, allegedly breaking down in tears after missing a connecting flight to Iraq and realising that she did not have enough money to pay for a fresh ticket.

Relatives and colleagues of the former UN worker have questioned this theory, reports the Daily Telegraph. Associates have described her reported suicide as "impossible to understand", saying she had "lots to live for".

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Sutton was recently appointed Iraq country director for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR). Anthony Borden, executive director of the IWPR, is calling for an "open and transparent" investigation into her death.

"All her friends and colleagues who knew her better than me find it impossible to understand," he said. "It doesn't accord with what anyone knows about her."

Sutton's brother, Ian, said he was "in shock" after learning of his sister's death and added: "There do seem to be some very odd circumstances."

The ex BBC journalist had previously written about her struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder in 1995 after being arrested as a suspected spy while living for five "life-changing" years in Eritrea. "I took Prozac for a month, but it had some seriously weird side effects so I stopped," she said. Sutton had also spoken of her fears that she might be targeted by Islamic State jihadists while working in the Iraqi city of Erbil, reports the Telegraph.

Turkish media have published CCTV footage that appears to show the journalist walking through Istanbul airport before her sudden death, but it has yet to be verified.

Sutton worked for the BBC World Service between 1998 and 2000, reporting from Africa, the Middle East and London. She also served in senior roles at the United Nations.

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