French judges drop Arafat’s investigation

French prosecutor announce Investigation over Yasser Arafat’s death dropped in final decision

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Yasser Arafat - Archive

French judges investigating claims that late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was assassinated have closed the case without bringing any charges, a prosecutor said on Thursday.

"At the end of the investigation ... it has not been demonstrated that Mr Yasser Arafat was murdered by polonium-210 poisoning," the three judges ruled on Wednesday, according to the prosecutor at Nanterre court near Paris.

Lawyers of Arafat's widow Suha Arafat labeled the court ruling as biased.

Arafat died on November 11, 2004 at 75 years of age, in a military hospital on the outskirts of Paris. He was hospitalized 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, 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 citing 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 actual 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 Jerusalem Post, the investigative teams did not find radioactive traces in Arafat’s remains, however, traces were heavily found in his clothes. According to Al Jazeera, the radioactive traces were found in the remains, and with huge quantities.

TRTWorld and agencies