Arafat's body to be exhumed as inquiry into death gathers pace

Tue, Nov 6, 2012, 00:00

The body of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat is set to be exhumed on the 26th of this month, eight years after his death, as part of an investigation to see if he was murdered, a diplomat has said.

Two senior Swiss forensic experts are already in the West Bank to discuss plans for the exhumation, which is complicated on a technical, legal and political level.

A French court in August opened a murder inquiry into Arafat’s death after a Swiss institute said it had discovered high levels of radioactive polonium on the Palestinian leader’s clothing, which was supplied by his widow, Suha.

Allegations of foul play have long surrounded his demise. French doctors who treated him in his final days said they could not establish the cause of death. His widow has said she believes he was poisoned and has requested the exhumation to see whether polonium is present.

A European diplomat said French magistrates were due to travel to the West Bank this month. – (Reuters)