Arafat poisoning claims inquiry

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Arafat poisoning claims inquiry

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Prosecutors in France have opened a murder inquiry into the 2004 death of Yasser Arafat in a military hospital near Paris.

The former Palestinian leader’s family initiated legal action last month after claims he may have died of radioactive poisoning.

A lab in Switzerland said it had found high levels of polonium traces on his personal effects. The substance is highly poisonous and was used to kill former Russian spy turned Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko in 2006.

Arafat’s widow Suha has said she is in favour of exhuming his body from his mausoleum in Ramallah to test his remains for traces of the toxin.

Palestinians in the past have accused Israel of poisoning him but the country has consistently denied the allegations.