Polonium-210 did not cause the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, Vladimir Uyba, the physician at the helm of the Russian Medical-Biological Agency which carried out tests on the remains of the Nobel Peace prize laureate, told the Interfax news agency on Tuesday.
Arafat was 75 when he died in 2004 at a French military hospital in Percy. He suffered abdominal pain prior to dying of unknown causes.
‘Russian experts who conducted the test did not find traces of this substance’, said Uyba.
And here is the reporting from today:
The Swiss scientists who tested Arafat’s remains after the exhumation of his body in November discovered levels of polonium at least 18 times higher than the norm in Arafat’s ribs, pelvis and in soil that absorbed his leaked bodily fluids…
…The Swiss report said that even taking into account the eight years since Arafat’s death and the quality of specimens taken from bone fragments and tissue scraped from his decayed corpse and shroud, the results “moderately support the proposition that the death was the consequence of poisoning with polonium-210”.
Since we know that the Russians killed Alexander Litvinenko with polonium-210 in London just two years after Arafat died, their denials here strike me as enormously suspicious. What I don’t know is what was going on in October 2004 between the Russians and the Palestinians that might have constituted a motive for the Russians to kill Arafat.
Naturally, the Israelis will be under suspicion, too, but the Russians are the only ones known to use this method to kill.