French tests conclude Arafat did not die of poisoning
Tuesday, December 03, 2013 - 01:27
Dec. 3 - Countering a Swiss report, French forensic scientists concluded the former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was not the victim of poisoning. Sarah Irwin reports.
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French scientists conclude Yasser Arafat did not die of poisoning. The newly-released findings contradict a Swiss report that the former Palestinian leader probably was killed by radioactive polonium. On Tuesday, Arafat's widow - Suha - who contends her husband's death was a political assassination - disputed the French results. SOUNDBITE: Suha Arafat, Yasser Arafat's widow "You can imagine how much I am shaken by the contradictions between the findings of the best experts in Europe in this domain." Arafat - the longtime leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization - or P.L.O. - signed the 1993 Oslo interim peace accords with Israel and then led an uprising after talks broke down in 2000. He died at the age of 75 - in a French hospital in 2004 - four weeks after he became sick after eating. The official cause of death was a stroke - but - at the time - French doctors were unable to find the cause of his illness and no autopsy was carried out. Last month, Swiss forensic experts stirred controversy - when they reported tests from samples taken from Arafat's body - were consistent with polonium poisoning. But, the French public prosecutor disputed this claim - which could lead to the closing of the case.
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