Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Cameroon's Constitutional Court rejects last petition for re-run

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Music stars, French art and a dead cat's renaissance

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Khashoggi Affair: Evidence mounts against Saudi Crown Prince

Read more

#TECH 24

Next stop space: Japanese company constructing nanotube 'space lift'

Read more

#THE 51%

The Gender Divide: Record number of women running in U.S. midterms

Read more

REPORTERS

Reporters: Brexit, a sea of uncertainty for fishermen

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

Fishing in France's Grau du Roi harbour, a family tradition

Read more

FOCUS

French education reforms under tight scrutiny

Read more

ENCORE!

FIAC 2018: Paris's one-stop shop for Contemporary Art collectors

Read more

France

French experts reject theory that Arafat was poisoned

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-12-03

French experts have "ruled out" the idea that Yasser Arafat was killed by polonium, a source close to the investigation said Tuesday, contradicting a Swiss team's findings last month that the Palestinian leader may have been poisoned.

French experts have dismissed allegations that late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was killed by polonium poisoning, a source close to the investigation told AFP on Tuesday.

"The report rules out the poisoning theory and goes in the [direction] of a natural death," the source said.

The French experts' findings differ from those of Swiss scientists, who said in November that their research offered some support for the suggestion Arafat was killed by poisoning. The Swiss team said that an examination of Arafat’s remains found “unexpectedly high levels” of polonium-210, a deadly radioactive isotope.

Original findings inconclusive

Arafat died at a French military hospital near Paris on November 11, 2004, with doctors saying he died of a massive stroke and suffered from a blood condition known as disseminated intravascular coagulation. But their findings were inconclusive about what led to the coagulation, which has numerous possible causes.

His widow, Suha Arafat, refused to allow an autopsy at the time.

France opened a formal murder inquiry into his death at his widow’s request in August 2012, a month after an Al Jazeera documentary linked his death to polonium poisoning.

His body was exhumed for further tests in November last year, when some 60 new samples were taken and divided between Swiss and Russian investigators and a French team of experts.

Palestinian inquiry claims foul play

Also on Tuesday, the head of an official Palestinian Authority investigation said that he would soon be naming the people responsible for Arafat’s death.

“I promise that the next press conference will be the last, and will cast into the light of day everyone who perpetrated, took part in, or conspired in the matter,” Tawfiq Tirawi told Palestine Today television.

Tirawi said last month that Israel was the "only suspect" in the death of the Palestinian leader.

Arafat’s widow has said in the past that at least one member of Arafat’s inner circle was involved in his death.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, REUTERS)

 

Date created : 2013-12-03

  • PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY

    Report confirms polonium found on Arafat's clothing

    Read more

  • PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

    Arafat's legend lives on for Ramallah youth

    Read more

  • PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

    Arafat may have been poisoned, say scientists

    Read more

COMMENT(S)