French scientists investigating Yasser Arafat’s death have ruled out death by poisoning from radioactive polonium, his widow said today.
The results contradict earlier findings by a Swiss lab, and mean it is still unclear what killed Palestinian leader Mr Arafat nine years ago.
Scientists from several countries have tried to determine whether polonium played a role in his death in a French military hospital in 2004. Palestinians have long suspected Israel of poisoning him, which it denies.
After a report last year that traces of radioactive polonium were found on Mr Arafat’s clothing, his widow filed a legal complaint in France seeking an investigation into whether he was murdered.
As part of that investigation, French investigators had Mr Arafat’s remains exhumed and ordered genetic, toxicology, medical, anatomical and radiation tests on them. Suha Arafat and her lawyers were notified of the results today.
She told reporters in Paris that they exclude the possibility of poisoning by polonium, a rare and extremely lethal substance. She said the French investigators do not rule out the possibility that he died of natural causes.
This is the latest in a string of recent expert reports on Mr Arafat’s death.