Tuesday 19 September 2017

Tests confirm the presence of polonium poison in body

Suha Arafat and daughter Zahwa
Suha Arafat and daughter Zahwa

Stephanie Nebehay Lausanne, Switzerland

THE remains of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat showed test results consistent with polonium poisoning and should lead to a judicial investigation, even if they were not absolute proof that he died that way, Swiss experts have said.

"Our observations are coherent with a hypothesis of poisoning – in any case more consistent than with the opposite hypothesis (of no poisoning)," said Patrice Mangin, director of Lausanne University Hospital's centre of legal medicine.

Doubts remained, although they had exhausted all forensic investigations into existing specimens, he said. Biological samples taken from Arafat's body at the time of his death in a hospital in France in 2004 have been destroyed.

Arafat died after falling ill after a meal with vomiting and stomach pains. The official cause of death was a massive stroke but French doctors said they were unable to determine the origin of his illness. No autopsy was carried out.

His widow, Suha, initiated Swiss testing on his personal effects in 2012 to probe whether he had been poisoned and the results led to analyses on samples taken from his corpse, including bones, hair and his shroud.

Irish Independent

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