Arafat's widow launches lawsuit in France over polonium poisoning suspicions
The widow of Yasser Arafat is to file a lawsuit in France following allegations that the Palestinian leader was killed by the radioactive poison, polonium. Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas is to ask Swiss experts to take samples from his corpse.
“Suha Arafat and her family want the truth and nothing but the truth,” her lawyer Pierre-Olivier Sur told the Metro freesheet. “There is no question of any ideological or political exploitation.”
Arafat died in the Percy military hospital near Paris and, at the time, Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath declared that French doctors “ruled out completely poison” after talking to them.
The hospital’s spokeseperson, General Christian Estripeau, refused to say whether an autopsy was performed or to comment on speculation that Arafat was poisoned.
But Jordanian doctor Ashraf al-Kurdi, who cared for Arafat in his Ramallah compound before he was flown to Paris, called for an autopsy at the time, saying that his patient’s low platelet count could have been caused by poisoning.
Many Palestinians believe Arafat was murdered by Israel, which denies the charge.
Suha Arafat’s legal action comes after an inquiry by Al Jazeera television revealed that an examination of some Arafat’s personal effects showed traces of polonium, which killed
Russian former spy Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006.
Abbas has said that he will ask the Swiss experts who found them to take samples from Arafat’s body, which is buried in the West Bank, following a call by Suha Arafat for an autopsy.