Yasser Arafat was not poisoned, say French scientists

Washington, Dec 04 : French scientists have dismissed the earlier findings about the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat that he was poisoned by radioactive polonium, his widow said.

The French experts arrived at a different conclusion than the earlier Swiss team that the traces of polonium-210 found on Arafat's clothing were "of natural environmental origin," Fox News reports.

The results contradict the 2012 findings by a Swiss lab, after which Suha Arafat filed a legal complaint in France seeking an investigation into whether he was murdered.

French investigators had Arafat's remains exhumed and ordered genetic, toxicology, medical, anatomical and radiation tests on them, the report added.

Arafat died on November 11, 2004, after a month's illness at his West Bank headquarters.

The reason of his death was said to be a stroke and a blood-clotting problem, but records were inconclusive about what caused that condition.

Palestinians have long suspected Israel of poisoning him, however, Israel denies.

Arafat's legal team consulted private experts, who attributed the difference in reports to the potential role of radioactive radon gas around the burial cloth and body in the tomb, which is found naturally and transforms into polonium in a naturally occurring process.

However, Arafat still has a doubt that is it the poisoned body that contaminated the immediate external environment, or the opposite.

Arafat's French lawyer said he will ask the three investigating magistrates, who are handling the case, to include the Swiss report in the probe and compare them.

--ANI (Posted on 04-12-2013)

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