France opens Arafat inquiry





PARIS (AP) — French prosecutors opened a murder inquiry into the death of Yasser Arafat on Tuesday, his widow's lawyer said, after she and a TV investigation raised new questions about whether the Palestinian leader was poisoned.

Many in the Arab world have long suspected that Arafat was poisoned, and a Swiss lab's recent finding of elevated levels of polonium-210 — a rare and highly lethal radioactive substance — on Arafat's clothing has fed those claims.

However, the Institute of Radiation Physics said its findings were inconclusive and that only exhuming Arafat's remains could bring possible clarity. Palestinian officials have waffled on that matter — initially approving the exhumation and then saying the matter needed more study — only further fueling suspicions....



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