A French court has ruled that former Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) chairman Yasser Arafat was not assassinated, as his wife Suha and many Palestinian Arab officials claim.
Arafat died in November 20014 at Percy Military Hospital near Paris at age 75, after he developed stomach pains while barricaded at his Muqata headquarters in the Palestinian Authority capital city of Ramallah, in Samaria.
Suha Arafat has insisted that he was poisoned by highly radioactive polonium, and accused Israeli intelligence agent of murdering him, filing murder case in 2012 at Nanterre Court.
Three teams of French, Swiss and Russian investigators arrived in Ramallah shortly thereafter, where Arafat’s tomb was opened for a few hours to allow the scientists to collect approximately 60 samples for analysis.
In Lausanne, Switzerland, a center tested biological samples taken from the PLO chairman’s belongings given to his wife after his death and allegedly found “abnormal levels of polonium.” However, the center did not say the departed Arafat had been poisoned.
French experts who found isotopes polonium-210 and lead-210 in Arafat’s grave and in the samples determined they were of an “environmental nature,” according to a statement by Nanterre prosecutor Catherine Denis in April 2015.
The panel of three French judges also concluded their investigations in April as well, and sent their findings to the Nanterre prosecutor, who recommended in July that the case be closed.
This week, the panel of judges issued a ruling to close the case without bringing charges, according to the prosecutor quoted by AFP.
“At the conclusion of the investigation… it has not be demonstrated that Mr. Yasser Arafat was murdered by polonium-210 poisoning,” the judges ruled, according to the statement released by the prosecutor from the court in Nanterre, near Paris.
Suha Arafat’s attorney, Francis Szpiner, announced the decision of the judges on Twitter. Her legal counsel accused the judges of closing the investigation “too quickly” and called for more experts to be questioned.
Palestinian Authority leaders in Ramallah likewise were disgruntled by the decision. PA inquiry committee head Tawfiq Tirawi told AFP, “We’ll continue our investigation until we reach the killer of Arafat; until we know how Arafat was killed.”