French Prosecutors Open Probe Into Arafat's Death
August 28, 2012
by 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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