News / Europe

French Prosecutors Open Probe Into Arafat's Death

Woman passes near section of Israel's separation barrier depicting Yasser Arafat near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Aug. 8, 2012.
Woman passes near section of Israel's separation barrier depicting Yasser Arafat near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Aug. 8, 2012.
VOA News
French prosecutors have opened a probe into the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat eight years ago.
Judicial sources say the probe was launched following a complaint last month from Arafat's widow, Suha Arafat, that he may have died from polonium poisoning.
The complaint was filed after a Swiss physics institute said it found abnormal traces of polonium, a radioactive substance, on Arafat's belongings. 
Palestinian officials welcomed the decision to open the probe.
Arafat died at age 75 at a military hospital near Paris in 2004. He had been taken there after falling ill at his compound in the West Bank town of Ramallah. Doctors who treated him at the hospital said they could not establish a cause of death.
Polonium is a toxic substance rarely found outside military and scientific areas. It was used to kill former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 29, 2012 1:48 PM
Is this a way to indict, directly or indirectly, Russia first and foremost since it has been first alleged to have used it to eliminate someone branded risk to the country? What is the purpose of exhuming the dead and suspecting 8 years away that France was so backward to have carried out a credible autopsy? The whole scenario plays like a set up. Who is whipping up this dead matter and what does he want to achieve? These questions are pertinent because nothing happens in the Middle East without those involved thinking how to rope the common enemies - Israel and USA.

Whoever is beating this war drum must be a trouble maker. People do die and at any age. Arafat died, so what? Has his death in any way helped the matter in the region? Why does anyone think that someone wanted him out, after all nothing has changed since his exit, except there's internal power tussle? This is the handiwork of blackmailers. It only points to those who carried out the 'killing' trying to blackmail their principal for 'failing' to live up the terms of their agreement. Whatever the result of the new examinations, an independent investigator should be drafted to find out what immediate and/or remote links have generated this new interest, whether or not it involves Arafat's widow - may have been shortchanged by the arrangements latest developments.

by: umish from: usa
August 29, 2012 1:38 PM
In response to the editor of der strurmer article above, mr John WV. Must be nice to be a member of the Nazi party, thinking that Jews are always behind everything evil in the world. Not much has changed with you Birchers and KKKer's... You are so envious of their supposed ability to control the world, you can see past the nose on your face. Arafat was a roach in the world of evil terrorists killing indiscriminantly. No matter who knocked off arafat, they did the world a favor.. juas as the seals did in bin laden, Besides it could just have been easy for one of Fatah to kill him too because of the money he embezzled and the illicit affairs he had. He was an embarrasment to Fatah... And then again there is Hamas... they had good reason to knock him off... SO who do you blame the Jews./..... As i said, Nazi member.

by: Peter from: DC
August 29, 2012 12:28 PM
I completely support the probe into the death of Yasser Arafat 8 years ago, and hope that further news will be posted as and when it becomes available.

I followed the reports of the death of Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006, I didn’t know why either the tracking reports from VOA or the probe by British government stopped short one day.

by: JohnWV from: USA
August 29, 2012 11:53 AM
Believing Americans have fallen victim to Israel's Mossad assassins comes easily. Our entire electoral system has been corrupted by Netanyahu's Israel, AIPAC, Israel Firsters and ingenious distribution of enormous amounts of Jewish money. Our representative democracy is nearly defeated and the destruction of America as we know it well underway. Termination of the criminal treachery and treason demands immediate priority. The Government of the United States must again serve American interests, not the Jewish state's relentless pursuit of invulnerability, territorial conquest and apartheid supremacist empire in, and beyond, the Mideast.

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