Russian Official: Arafat Did Not Die From Polonium Poisoning

Russian experts found no traces of deadly substance in body of Palestinian leader, head of Russia's Federal Medical-Biological Agency says.

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A Russian official said Tuesday that forensic tests found no indications of polonium poisoning in the body of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

"He could not have died of polonium poisoning – the Russian experts found no traces of this substance," Vladimir Uiba, the head of Russia's Federal Medical-Biological Agency, told the Interfax news agency on Tuesday.

Last week, Britain's The Lancet journal reported that Swiss toxicologists discovered significant, unexplained traces of polonium in stains found on Arafat's belongings. The findings may support the possibility that the Palestinian leader was poisoned, the scientists said, although they have yet to reach conclusive results.

Arafat died at the age of 75 in a French hospital on November 11, 2004.

In February of last year, Arafat's wife, Suha, gave researchers full access to her husband's medical file and to his personal effects in an effort to confirm her claim that he had been poisoned.

In November 2012, Arafat's body was exhumed and samples of it were given to French, Swiss and Russian forensic experts as part of the investigation.

Yasser ArafatCredit: AP

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