Dec. 3 - Countering a Swiss report, French forensic scientists concluded the former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was not the victim of poisoning. Sarah Irwin reports.
French scientists conclude Yasser Arafat did not die of poisoning. The newly-released findings contradict a Swiss report that the former Palestinian leader probably was killed by radioactive polonium. On Tuesday, Arafat's widow - Suha - who contends her husband's death was a political assassination - disputed the French results. SOUNDBITE: Suha Arafat, Yasser Arafat's widow "You can imagine how much I am shaken by the contradictions between the findings of the best experts in Europe in this domain." Arafat - the longtime leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization - or P.L.O. - signed the 1993 Oslo interim peace accords with Israel and then led an uprising after talks broke down in 2000. He died at the age of 75 - in a French hospital in 2004 - four weeks after he became sick after eating. The official cause of death was a stroke - but - at the time - French doctors were unable to find the cause of his illness and no autopsy was carried out. Last month, Swiss forensic experts stirred controversy - when they reported tests from samples taken from Arafat's body - were consistent with polonium poisoning. But, the French public prosecutor disputed this claim - which could lead to the closing of the case.