Forensic tests on former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s corpse have revealed he was poisoned to death with radioactive polonium, his wife has claimed.
Suha Arafat said the results of the tests in Switzerland revealed “a real crime”, adding: “It is scientifically proved that he didn’t die a natural death and we have scientific proof that this man was killed.”
A team of experts have been examining samples taken from Mr Arafat’s body since his grave was opened in the West Bank city of Ramallah last November, eight years after his death.
French prosecutors opened a murder investigation in August 2012, after traces of polonium-210 – the same radioactive substance that killed Russian spy Alexander Litvinkenko in 2006 – were reportedly found on Mr Arafat’s personal effects.
Professor David Barclay, a British forensic scientist who has seen the results of the Swiss tests, said the findings were a “smoking gun” for those who suspect foul play in his death.
“In my opinion, it is absolutely certain that the cause of his illness was polonium poisoning,” he said. “The levels present in him are sufficient to have caused death.”