(page 2 of 2)
A Palestinian official dismissed the French findings.
“The French report is politicised and is contrary to all the evidence which confirms that the president was killed by poisoning,” senior Palestinian official Wasel Abu Yousef told Reuters in Ramallah.
“This report is an attempt to cover up what happened in Percy hospital,” he said of the French military hospital near Paris where Arafat was taken for treatment in 2004.
Many Palestinians believe Israel killed him - a charge Israel denies. Earlier, a Palestinian investigator said he would soon name the people he believed were behind Arafat’s death, almost a decade after he started searching for suspects.
“We are in the last 15 minutes of the investigation,” Tawfiq Tirawi told Palestine Today television.
There are few known cases of polonium poisoning, the most famous recent example being that of defecting Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, who drank a poisoned cup of tea in a London hotel in 2006.
“We have no doubt that the most comprehensive and thorough report that examined all aspects of this case remains the Swiss report,” Suha Arafat’s lawyer Saad Djebbar told Reuters, calling it “the only show in town”.
A radiation scientist who examined the Swiss and the French reports for Suha Arafat said both studies had found similar levels of Polonium 210 in Arafat’s body but differed in their explanations of how it got there.
The French report concluded that some of the radioactivity could be explained by the presence of radon gas in the tomb where Arafat was buried. The Swiss experts said on the contrary that the level of radon gas was due to the radioactivity in his body.