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Arafat death back in spotlight

Thursday, November 07, 2013 - 01:54

Nov. 7 - Search for blame reignites as late Palestinian leader's widow says there is proof he was poisoned in 2004. Paul Chapman reports.

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PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS MATERIAL THAT WAS ORIGINALLY 4:3 The widow of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat says his death in 2004 was the result of polonium poisoning. Suha Arafat's making the allegation after receiving the results of forensic tests carried out in Switzerland. She says someone within his close circle must have administered the toxin. (SOUNDBITE)(English) SUHA ARAFAT, WIDOW OF LATE PALESTINIAN LEADER YASSER ARAFAT, SAYING: "(The) answer lies in the Muqata (Palestinian government headquarters) where my late husband had spent his last three years under siege. And the head of the investigation committee Mr (Tawfiq) Tirawi is, I'm sure, is willing now to go further for investigation, to know who committed this shameful crime, this assassination - political assassination - of an elected leader." Allegations of foul play surfaced almost immediately after Yasser Arafat's death at a French military hospital. French, Swiss and Russian forensic experts all took samples from his body for testing last year. That followed reports by the Qatar-based tv channel Al Jazeera that traces of polonium had been found on personal property given to his widow after he died. Arafat had enemies among his own people but the Palestinian Liberation Organisation Arafat headed is again pointing the finger of blame at Israel. (SOUNDBITE)(Arabic) WASEL ABU YOUSEF, PALESTINIAN LIBERATION ORGANISATION, SAYING: "I think this issue necessitates the formation of an international inquiry to investigate it and to find out who committed this crime against the martyr Yasser Arafat, because the one with the interest in killing him is the occupation (Israel)." Israel has always denied involvement in Arafat's death, pointing out that he was 75 years old and had an unhealthy lifestyle. An official who wouldn't comment on camera has said the latest findings can't be considered conclusive.

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Arafat death back in spotlight

Thursday, November 07, 2013 - 01:54