French prosecutors yesterday opened a murder investigation into the
death of the veteran Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, who died in a
military hospital near Paris in 2004.
The investigation follows a formal complaint by Mr Arafat's widow
after the discovery last month by a laboratory in Switzerland of
substantial traces of the deadly poison polonium-210 on the Palestinian
leader's clothes.Mr Arafat was said to have died of cirrhosis of
the liver but his medical files have never been released by France.
Conspiracy theories suggesting that he was murdered by Israeli
intelligence or other enemies have swirled around the Middle East for
the last eight years.Samples of the clothes that he wore just
before he was taken ill were sent to a laboratory in Lausanne earlier
this year by the TV station Al Jazeera, with the co-operation of his
widow and daughter. In early July, the l
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