French officials set to exhume Arafat's body next month
A French official says criminal investigators from France will exhume Yasser Arafat’s remains next month to try to find out how the Palestinian leader died
A French official has confirmed that investigators from France will exhume Yasser Arafat’s remains next month in an attempt to ascertain the cause of death of the former Palestinian leader died.
Investigators from France and Switzerland are said to be conducting separate probes into Arafat's death, acting on behalf of Arafat's widow Suha Arafat and the Palestinian Authority respectively, both of whom had misgivings about the other's investigation. Suha Arafat formally asked for a French investigation into his death this summer.
Palestinian authorities also confirmed the timetable and said the separate Swiss investigative team would arrive in the West Bank city of Ramallah at the same time. No exact date was disclosed.
All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.
The move to re-examine Arafat’s November 2004 death came after a Swiss lab discovered traces of polonium-210 on clothes said to be his.
The discovery revived suspicions of poisoning as polonium is a highly toxic substance rarely found outside military and scientific circles.
It was used to kill former Russian spy turned Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko, who died in 2006 in London shortly after drinking tea laced with the poison.
The immediate cause of Arafat’s death was a stroke, but the underlying source of an illness he suffered in his final weeks has never been clear.
Read more on: Suha Arafat, polonium, yasser arafat, palestine, Israel , and alexander litvinenko
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