Polonium in Yasser Arafat’s body ‘could not occur naturally’


Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat ingested lethal radioactive polonium before his death nine years ago, scientists have confirmed.

A Swiss lab examined Arafat’s remains, underclothes and a travel bag that he had with him in the days before his death in Paris and found polonium and lead in amounts that could not occur naturally.

“You don’t accidentally or voluntarily absorb a source of polonium,” said Patrice Mangin, director of the Lausanne University Hospital’s forensics centre. He said the samples obtained were too degraded to determine a cause of death but François Bochud, director of the lab, said the results “reasonably support the poisoning theory”.