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Arafat's widow plans to sue France

July 11, 2012 at 6:07 PM

PARIS, July 11 (UPI) -- Suha Arafat, widow of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, intends to sue the French government, demanding an investigation into his 2004 death, her lawyer says.

Arafat, 75, died in a French military hospital outside Paris. Her attorney, Pierre-Olivier Sur, says Suha Arafat only wants to uncover the truth about her husband's final illness, Radio France International reported Wednesday.

"Suha Arafat and her family want the truth and nothing but the truth," Sur told a free British newspaper, the Metro. "There is no question of any ideological or political exploitation."

Arafat was already seriously ill when he was flown to France. Teams of doctors had come to his home on the West Bank and had failed to diagnose his illness.

Immediately after his death in November 2004, Nabil Shaath, the Palestinian foreign minister, said the French doctors had "completely ruled out poison."

Al-Jazeera, the Arabic-language broadcaster, reported Swiss experts recently found traces of radioactive polonium on Arafat's clothing. The substance is lethal and was used to kill Alexander Litvinenko, a former Russian spy, in London in 2006.

An Israeli expert told The Jerusalem Post polonium found at the levels the Swiss experts reported could not date from the time of Arafat's death and must have been planted. The expert said polonium has a short half-life.

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