A remand prisoner has been found dead in his cell at HMP Belmarsh after a dispute over whether he should have been classified as disabled.
Liridon Saliuka, who was born in Kosovo and held a British passport, was found reportedly unresponsive in house block 4 of the high-security prison in the early evening of 2 January.
The Prison Service confirmed he had died. The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman is investigating.
It is understood the authorities are treating the death as self-inflicted, but the family – who say there have been delays to the postmortem – disagree.
Saliuka, 29, from Harrow in north-west London, had been in custody since last summer when he was arrested and charged with murder in connection with a fatal shooting at a club in east London. He denied being involved.
Saliuka’s sister, Dita, told the Guardian he had been determined to clear his name. The family said the autopsy had still not been carried out and they had been told they would only be able to see his face afterwards.
Saliuka underwent extensive reconstructive surgery after a car crash two years ago. He was given metal plates that made it difficult for him to walk or stand still for long periods.
Dita, 31, said she had nursed her brother back to health as he recovered. A report by a surgeon, commissioned by his defence lawyer, had concluded that he should be considered as “permanently disabled”.