Russian and Swiss reports confirm high levels of polonium in Arafat's bones

The reports presented by Russian and Swiss experts confirm the presence of high concentrations of lethal radioactive polonium-210 in the bones of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, Palestinian investigative commission chairman Taufik al-Tirawi said.

The reports presented by Russian and Swiss experts confirm the presence of high concentrations of lethal radioactive polonium-210 in the bones of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, Palestinian investigative commission chairman Taufik al-Tirawi said.

"The Swiss and Russian reports indicate that Yasser Arafat's remains contain high levels of polonium-210," he said. The reports suggest that Arafat's death did not occur from natural causes, he said.

However, the Russian report says that there is not sufficient evidence to conclude that the Palestinian leader died as a result of polonium poisoning, al-Tirawi said. French experts' report neither confirms nor denies the presence of polonium in Arafat's bones, he said.

Vladimir Uyba, head of Russia's Federal Medical Biological Agency, said earlier that the poisoning by polonium could not have been the cause of Arafat's death. "He could not have been poisoned with polonium. Russian experts, who conducted the test, have not found traces of this substance," Uyba told Interfax.

Federal Medical Biological Agency experts have conducted detailed tests of Arafat's remains and they regularly inform the Russian Interior Ministry on the course of the investigation, Uyba said.

On November 5, the Palestinian commission investigating Arafat's death received the results of a Swiss laboratory's examination of the late Palestinian leader's bones. According to the Swiss experts, there is an up to 83 percent degree of probability that Arafat had been poisoned by radioactive polonium. They also believe that it might have been done intentionally.

Professor Patrice Mangin, the director of the Swiss laboratory that examined the Palestinian leader's remains, said that a person could hardly consume polonium accidentally or voluntarily. The experts said that their examination of Arafat's remains and his personal belongings confirmed that these radioactive particles could not have appeared in Arafat's body by natural causes.

The Swiss specialists, however, stressed that poisoning by radiation could be only one of the possible causes of his death.

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