World News

Tests Show Arafat May Have Been Poisoned

Forensic tests on samples taken from the exhumed corpse of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat have shown unexpectedly high levels of radioactive polonium, according to his widow and media reports.

A 108-page report by Swiss scientists at the University of Lausanne, obtained by Al-Jazeera and shown to other media outlets, found unnaturally high levels of polonium in Arafat's ribs and pelvis, and in soil stained by his decaying organs.

Arafat's widow, Suha, told Reuters Wednesday that "a real crime" had been revealed. She said his death in 2004 was "a political assassination."



The Palestinian commission investigating how the late leader died said it received test results from labs in Switzerland and Russia.

Those labs, and a third one in France, took samples from Arafat's remains last November after his body was exhumed to search for clues to his death.

The commission said the Swiss and Russian labs provided their results in the past few days, but that experts will study them before making the information public.

Arafat died in France shortly after catching a mysterious illness.

French officials ordered an investigation last year after the lethal radioactive element polonium was discovered on Arafat's clothing, which had been supplied by his widow.

There has been speculation in the Arab world that Israel poisoned him, but Israel has denied the allegations.

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