Report: Tests on Arafat poisoning paid for by his widow, P.A.

(JTA) — The widow of Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority paid for the Swiss medical tests on the late Palestinian leader’s body that showed he did not die of natural causes.

The Washington Free Beacon reported Friday that a spokesperson for the University Centre of Legal Medicine in Lausanne told the newspaper that Suha Arafat and the P.A. paid for the tests.

The tests “moderately” supported the notion that Arafat had been poisoned with polonium, a radioactive substance.

Al Jazeera America reported last week that it believed the Swiss lab conducted the tests for free as a public service, according to the Free Beacon.

Polonium is a highly toxic substance that is rarely found outside military and scientific circles. The substance was found in Arafat’s ribs and pelvis, and in the soil beneath where his body was buried, according to Al Jazeera America.

A report issued Friday by a team of Russian scientists found insufficient evidence that Arafat was poisoned with polonium.

Arafat led the Palestine Liberation Organization for 35 years and became the first president of the Palestinian Authority in 1996. He fell violently ill in October 2004 and died two weeks later, at the age of 75, in a Paris military hospital. His remains were exhumed last year

Suha Arafat had filed legal action in July 2012 asking French authorities to look into claims that her husband was poisoned. The following month, French prosecutors opened a murder inquiry into the death of Arafat.

 

 

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