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Arafat widow to file legal complaint over poison claim

world Updated: Jul 16, 2012 00:05 IST
AFP
Zurich

The widow of Yasser Arafat is to launch legal action in France over claims that the veteran Palestinian leader died of radioactive polonium poisoning, her lawyer said in remarks published on Sunday.

“Mrs Arafat has decided to lodge a legal complaint within the month,” the Geneva-based lawyer Marc Bonnant told Le Matin Dimanche newspaper.

He said the legal proceedings would be taken in France where Arafat died at a military hospital in 2004.

He said Suha Arafat, who has said she backs exhuming her late husband's remains, would press charges "against persons unknown for poisoning."

The Institute for Radiation Physics in Switzerland, which analysed biological samples taken from Arafat's personal effects, found “an abnormal quantity” of the lethal radioactive substance polonium, the Al-Jazeera news channel reported in a documentary this month.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and Arafat’s widow have reportedly given their consent for samples to be taken from his remains, which are buried in a mausoleum in the town of Ramallah.