Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat ingested lethal radioactive polonium before his death nine years ago and had high levels of it in his body that could not have been accidental, Swiss scientists have confirmed.
The lab examined Arafat's remains and his underclothes and a travel bag that he had with him in the days before his death in a Paris hospital and found that the polonium and lead amounts could not be naturally occurring.
"You don't accidentally or voluntarily absorb a source of polonium – it's not something that appears in the environment like that," said Patrice Mangin of the Lausanne University Hospital.
He said he could not say unequivocally what killed Arafat – the biological samples obtained just last year were far too degraded to determine the cause of death.
"Our results reasonably support the poisoning theory," said Francois Bochud, director of the Institute of Radiation Physics that carried out the probe.