Scientists of a Swiss institute say they have evidence that former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat may have been poisoned with polonium.
According to the findings of laboratory research conducted at the Institut de Radiophysique in Lausanne, Switzerland, Arafat was poisoned by polonium, a rare, highly radioactive element, al-Jazeera reported on Tuesday.
“I can confirm that we measured an unexplained, elevated amount of unsupported polonium-210 in the belongings of Mr. Arafat that contained stains of biological fluids,” said Dr. Francois Bochud, the director of the institute.
Bochud stated that the tests focused on biological samples taken from his belongings, which were given to his wife Suha Arafat by the hospital in Paris where he died.
“If (Suha Arafat) really wants to know what happened to her husband (we need) to find a sample — I mean, an exhumation… should provide us with a sample that should have a very high quantity of polonium if he was poisoned,” he added.
Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leader Yasser Arafat died on November 11, 2004, following several weeks of medical treatment.
At the time, French officials refused to reveal the exact cause of his death on grounds of privacy laws, fueling rumors that the Mossad had poisoned him with thallium, another radioactive element.
Former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko was also poisoned by polonium. At a London hotel in 2006, he was given a cup of tea laced with the substance.
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