France opens inquiry in Arafat’s death

An Al Jazeera investigation led Yasser Arafat’s widow to push for an inquiry

After Yasser Arafat’s family launched legal action in France last month over claims the Palestinian leader died of polonium poisoning, French prosecutors have opened a murder inquiry into his death, The Australian reports.

Arafat, the former leader of the PLO, died in a military hospital near Paris in 2004. His widow Suha and daughter Zawra lodged a murder complaint at the end of July.

After Al Jazeera broadcast an investigation into Arafat’s death, experts said they found high levels of polonium on his personal items, like clothes and toothbrush.

Polonium is a highly toxic and radioactive substance. It’s the same substance that killed former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko in 2006. Ingesting Polonium can be lethal.

Suha says she wants her late husband’s remains exhumed for more investigation.

At the time of his death, poisoning had been ruled out.

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