Tue, 27 Nov 2012 04:30:00 GMT | By Reuters

Experts to exhume Yasser Arafat, seek evidence of poison

Arafat's remains will be reburied with full military honours later on Tuesday after the forensic work is completed


Experts to exhume Yasser Arafat, seek evidence of poison (© Reuters)

Ramallah, West Bank: The body of the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat will be exhumed on Tuesday by a team of international experts trying to discover if he was poisoned, as many Palestinians believe.

French magistrates opened a murder inquiry in August into Arafat's death in Paris after a Swiss institute said it had discovered high levels of radioactive polonium on his clothing, which was supplied by his widow, Suha. Arafat, who led the Palestinians' bid for a state through years of war and peace, died in Paris aged 75 in 2004 after a short, mysterious illness.

No autopsy was carried out at the time, at the request of Suha, and French doctors who treated him said they were unable to determine the cause of death.But allegations of foul play immediately surfaced, with many locals pointing the finger at Israel, which confined Arafat to his West Bank headquarters in Ramallah for the final two and a half years of his life after a Palestinian uprising erupted.

Israel has denied any wrongdoing, inviting the Palestinian leadership to release all his medical records, which were never made public following his death.

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