Release of Arafat death probe results delayed

Spokesman for laboratory in Swiss city of Lausanne says second round of tests has not started and will finish in May.

    An Al Jazeera investigation in 2012 turned the spotlight to the cause of Arafat's death [Reuters]
    An Al Jazeera investigation in 2012 turned the spotlight to the cause of Arafat's death [Reuters]

    The results of a probe into claims that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was poisoned by polonium will not be known until the end of May, the Swiss lab carrying out the tests has said. 

    Al Jazeera investigates: What killed Arafat?

    The Swiss University Centre of Legal Medicine in Lausanne announced the delay in the results, which were previously estimated to be released in three to four months, after Arafat's body was exhumed in November. 

    "There are two series of tests that have to be carried out. The first one is complete and we're going to start the second one, so there won't be tangible results until the end of May," said Darcy Christen, spokesman for the Laussane lab.

    The tests were partly a result of an Al Jazeera's investigation into the death of the Palestinian leader, who died in November 2004 in a French hospital, which discovered abnormal traces of the radioactive substance, polonium-210, in Arafat's personal effects. 

    Experts took some 60 samples from his remains after the exhumation, the samples were distributed among three teams doing seperate analyses: the Lausanne lab, a French team carrying out a probe at the request of Arafat's widow Suha, and Russian experts appointed by the Palestianian Authority. 

    The Palestinian Authority has said it will petition the International Criminal Court in The Hague if proof is found that the veteran leader was poisoned. 

    SOURCE: AFP


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