EUROPE > France opens Arafat murder enquiry: sources

PARIS - Agence France-Presse

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Arafat. AP Photo

Arafat. AP Photo

French prosecutors have opened a murder enquiry into Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's 2004 death near Paris, sources close to the matter told AFP today.
The probe comes after Arafat's family launched legal action in France last month over claims the veteran Palestinian leader died of radioactive polonium poisoning.
Arafat's widow Suha and his daughter Zawra lodged a murder complaint on July 31 in the Paris suburb of Nanterre.
Arafat died at a military hospital near Paris in 2004.
Allegations that the Nobel Peace Prize laureate was poisoned were resurrected last month after Al-Jazeera news channel broadcast an investigation in which experts said they found high levels of polonium on his personal effects.
Polonium is a highly toxic substance which is rarely found outside military and scientific circles, and was used to kill former Russian spy turned Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko, who died in 2006 shortly after drinking tea laced with the poison.
Suha Arafat has said she backs exhuming her late husband's remains from his mausoleum in the West Bank town of Ramallah.
A Swiss radiology lab at the Lausanne University Hospital Centre said on Friday it has received Suha Arafat's go-ahead to test his remains for poisoning by polonium.
Arafat, who led the struggle for Palestinian statehood for nearly four decades, died in a French military hospital after being airlifted there for treatment from his Ramallah headquarters.
At the time of his death, Palestinian officials alleged he had been poisoned by long-time foe Israel, but an inconclusive Palestinian investigation in 2005 ruled out poisoning, as well as cancer and AIDS.
Israel has consistently denied the allegations, accusing Suha Arafat and Palestinian officials of covering up the real reasons for the former leader's death.


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ealsho@eartlink.net tango73

8/29/2012 7:55:57 PM

If the French doctors will declare that Arafat died of AIDS.....Paris will be burning

Shah Hamdan

8/29/2012 1:05:13 PM

A new Pandora box is opened by Al Jazeera. I m waiting whose neck they will fix in the death nob. Qataris and Al Jazeera are part of devils army and nothing good will come from them. They have pushed Turkey in mess of Syria where no end is in sight. But for themselves they are sitting aside just throwing their newly found petro dollars.

Red Tail

8/29/2012 11:19:12 AM

I have no trust what so ever in Mrs Arafat. She has been living a very extravagant luxury life, so extreme, that even on an international level, it has been recognized by the press. All while her people is starving. She also openly supports suicide bombers (which kill randomly) and said that if she had a son should would have been proud to send him as a suicide bomber. Talk is cheap though, since she has only a daughter...........

Red Tail

8/29/2012 10:53:25 AM

I think it is gernally accepted that Mrs Arafats interest in her elderly spouse was driven by her desire to seize control of billions of dollars he had supposedly embezzled from the Palestinian cause. Has she spent all the money now, and tries to get more?

Danny B Danny

8/29/2012 9:22:13 AM

Murat , oh yes, Israel demonized Yasser Arafat the pure and innocent angel. Only ask hundreds of families and relatives of Israel women and children who were masacred by this holy spirit. The blown buses, plains , schools, restaurants, night clubs. discos, ask who was in charge on Black September who was responsible for the death of so many people. If Yasser Arafat was a peace activist , wonder how you call Hitler and his assistance ?

Blue Beyond

8/28/2012 10:02:01 PM

The mourning widow is likely looking to sell some magazine interviews. She is known for her love of the dolce vita and has perhaps gone through the money that her husband redirected from Palestinian Authority funding.


8/28/2012 8:41:54 PM

Given what Israel has done so far and their penchant for unilateral action, murder and assasinations and how they have demonized this man, one is right to be suspicious. These are the people who pinned medals on the Mavi Marmara murderers after all.

Brit in Turkey

8/28/2012 8:25:07 PM

According to the BBC it is polonium-210 that has allegedly been found. Wikipedia: 210Po (half-life 138.376 days) is the most widely available.

Brit in Turkey

8/28/2012 7:53:52 PM

Rimon Tree - I guess you are probably right, but although the chemistry/ physics is beyond my schooldays experience, Wikipedia quotes that two isotopes of polonium have the following characteristics: 209Po (half-life 103 years) and 208Po (half-life 2.9 years). But polonium is very rare!

Rimon Tree

8/28/2012 7:13:28 PM

"Allegations that the Nobel Peace Prize laureate was poisoned were resurrected last month after Al-Jazeera news channel broadcast an investigation in which experts said they found high levels of polonium on his personal effects." Considering the extremely short half-time of Pollonium it can hardly be that after eight years high levels should be detected and the socalled "experts" should know that. It could only be brought unto the belongings recently. Wonder how much the mourning widow paid!
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