World / Europe

Swiss lab accepts request to test Arafat's remains

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-09-05 10:31

RAMALLAH - A Swiss scientific lab has agreed to exhume the body of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for additional tests for possible polonium poisoning, a Palestinian official announced Tuesday.

The Lausanne-based Institute of Radiation Physics responded positively to a request from the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), which invited the institution to send experts to the West Bank to take samples from Arafat's body, said Tawfiq al-Tirawi, head of the Palestinian committee investigating Arafat's death in 2004.

However, the lab said in its letter that it also needs an approval from Arafat's widow to begin the practical steps, al-Tirawi added.

Arafat's widow, Suha, said earlier that she wants the truth about her husband's death to be unveiled to everybody.

Arafat died at a French hospital near Paris from an undiagnosed illness. Israel kept him locked inside his West Bank compound for about two years and allowed him to leave for France only when he fell ill.

In July, pan-Arab satellite television channel al-Jazeera aired an investigative report suggesting that Arafat died of radioactive poisoning. The Qatar-based channel used the Swiss lab to test Arafat's personal belongings purchased from his wife. The institute said it had found significant traces of polonium-210 on Arafat's clothes and toothbrush.

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