SOURCE: Guardian (UK)
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Clayton Swisher: What killed Yasser Arafat? France Could Find the TruthRoundup: Talking About History
Clayton Swisher is a head of al-Jazeera's transparency unit, and author of two books on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The best opportunity to definitively prove What Killed Arafat – the name we gave the documentary investigation that appeared on al-Jazeera earlier this month – is fast approaching. The lawyers of Yasser Arafat's family are calling for the appointment of an independent judge to look into the cause of his death.
The Palestinian president had arrived at the Percy Military hospital on 29 October 2004, following his unexplained deterioration weeks earlier. He fell into a coma and took his last breath there on 11 November the same year. In our film, we interviewed Swiss scientists who had discovered that elevated levels of polonium-210 in biological stains had come from the clothing Arafat had with him at the hospital.
It is the strongest and only physical evidence to date that Arafat may have been assassinated. You can't pick up radioactive polonium at the supermarket and it has no business being in anybody's blood or urine stains in the levels detected by the Swiss. As death is an element of the crime of murder, it matters not where Arafat may have first come into contact with the nuclear reactor-made substance.
Arafat died in France, under the care of French government officials. His widow Suha and daughter Zahwa are both French citizens. Both are also possible victims of crime, especially 17-year old Zahwa, who was just nine when her father died.
This is why their lawyers have decided to take the matter further...
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