French prosecutor to end Arafat’s death investigation

French prosecutor decides to drop investigation of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s death nearly 11 years after alleged assassination

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

French public prosecutor decided to “close the file” of the investigation into the death of former Palestinian president Yasser Arafat.

Arafat died on November 11, 2004 at the age of 75, in a military hospital on the outskirts of Paris. He was hospitalised following a rapid deterioration in his health. The French prosecutor added his country is no longer required to investigate further into the matter.

The official cause of death announced at the time was a massive stroke. However, due to the lack of issuance of the indictment, the investigation will no longer proceed.

The French public prosecutor has demanded the closure of the investigation in the suspected death of Arafat as a result of being poisoned. Arafat’s widow Suha Arafat had submitted a complaint based on the discovery of traces of polonium on her husband’s personal belongings.

The three judges assigned to carry out the investigation in Paris since August 2012 following a lawsuit filed by Suha Arafat cited the presence of an unknown substance later found to be radioactive “polonium -210” of high toxicity in personal belongings to her husband.

A number of Palestinian leaders believe that Israel deliberately poisoned Arafat, after cooperating with some of the late leader’s companions.

In November 2013, Shimon Peres confirmed when he was president of Israel, that it was "easier" to assassinate him with bullets, referring to rumours about Israeli involvement in the matter.

An investigative report by Al Jazeera in 2013 proved the presence of radioactive polonium in Arafat's clothes, prompting the Palestinian authorities to agree to re-open the tomb of Arafat and obtain samples of his remains, investigated by Russian, Swiss and French medical teams.

According to the Jerusalem Post, the investigative teams did not find radioactive traces in Arafat’s remains. According to Al Jazeera, the radioactive traces were found in his remains, and with huge quantities.

TRTWorld and agencies