Report: France opens murder probe in Arafat death

FILE - In this Nov. 7, 2007 file photo members of a Palestinian honor guard stand next to the tombstone, backdropped by a huge poster, which marks the grave of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, inside Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Abbas has given his permission for the exhumation of the remains of his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, a top aide said Monday, July 9, 2012, days after a Swiss institute reported finding elevated traces of a radioactive substance on the late leader's belongings. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen, File)

FILE - In this Nov. 7, 2007 file photo members of a Palestinian honor guard stand next to the tombstone, backdropped by a huge poster, which marks the grave of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, inside Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Abbas has given his permission for the exhumation of the remains of his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, a top aide said Monday, July 9, 2012, days after a Swiss institute reported finding elevated traces of a radioactive substance on the late leader's belongings. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen, File)

PARIS (AP) — A judicial official has told the Sipa news agency that French prosecutors have opened a murder investigation into the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

Suha Arafat filed a legal complaint in France after Arab satellite TV channel Al-Jazeera broadcast the results of an investigation into her husband's death. That included tests of objects that Suha said belonged to him.

A Swiss institute detected elevated traces of polonium-210 — a rare and highly lethal substance — on the belongings, but said the findings were inconclusive.

The official said on condition of anonymity because of office rules that a judge will be named to investigate.

Arafat died in a French military hospital in 2004 of what doctors called a stroke.

Longstanding rumors in the Arab world have said he was poisoned.
Associated Press
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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