Arafat: Russia rules out death caused by polonium poisoning

International team of experts, no trace found on body

15 October, 12:53

    Yasser Arafat donating blood Yasser Arafat donating blood

    (ANSAmed) - MOSCOW, OCTOBER 15 - Polonium-210 did not cause the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, Vladimir Uyba, the physician at the helm of the Russian Medical-Biological Agency which carried out tests on the remains of the Nobel Peace prize laureate, told the Interfax news agency on Tuesday.

    Arafat was 75 when he died in 2004 at a French military hospital in Percy. He suffered abdominal pain prior to dying of unknown causes.

    'Russian experts who conducted the test did not find traces of this substance', said Uyba.

    Allegations that the Palestinian leader was poisoned with the radioactive substance - backed by a number of Palestinians but denied by Israel - were made in a documentary aired by Al Jazeera in July 2012 and were raised again three days ago by medical journal Lancet.

    The journal cited results of tests carried out on Arafat's personal belongings and on samples of body fluids examined by European scientists working in a Swiss, French and Russian international investigating team. The team was charged with independently testing parts of the remains of the founder of the Palestinian National Authority after his widow Suha Arafat asked for her husband's body to be exhumed. The official results of the tests have yet to be released. Alexander Litvinenko, a former member of Russia's intelligence living in exile in London, was poisoned in 2006 with polonium-210, a highly toxic substance. (ANSAmed)

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