Nov. 7 - The remains of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat showed test results consistent with polonium poisoning, though it's not absolute proof he died that way, Swiss experts said. Jillian Kitchener reports.
Swiss experts say the remains of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat showed test results consistent with polonium poisoning. But, there isn't proof he died this way. Lausanne University scientists were part of an international team that opened Arafat's grave in Ramallah last November and tested his body for evidence of the radioactive element. Francois Bochud says the evidence is not conclusive. (SOUNDBITE) (French) DIRECTOR OF INSTITUTE OF RADIOPHYSICS FRANCOIS BOCHUD SAYING: "The key findings are that we have evidence of an abnormal quantity of polonium and lead in these samples. To try and explain where this polonium and this lead came from, we hypothesized that a source of polonium had been ingested by the victim and we have modeled this result. And what we observed is that our results reasonably support the poisoning hypothesis." SCREEN SHOWING SLIDE USED DURING NEWS CONFERENCE READING (English): "Can we exclude polonium as the cause of death? No. Are we sure polonium was the cause of death? No." A report released on Wednesday has sparked reaction in the Mideast. This Israeli man says it's likely someone within the Palestinian Authority administered the toxin. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DAVID MEIR EPSNI, ISRAELI RESIDENT FROM JERUSALEM, SAYING: "There certainly are many people who have good justifications to have wanted him killed but I think it is probably equally as possible and probably more likely that someone within the Palestinian Authority said it is time for someone to move on and he was not going to move on." And this Palestinian man says Israel poisoned him. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ALI JAMAL, PALESTINIAN FROM RAMALLAH, SAYING: "President Abu Amar (Yasser Arafat) is the symbol of the Palestinian nation, the symbol of the Palestinian issue. The case should be investigated and we ask for his blood (justice)! It is proven now that the Jews and Israel poisoned and killed him." Palestinian officials accuse Israel of poisoning Arafat. Israel denies the claim.