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French court rules out murder probe over Yasser Arafat's death

Published 24/06/2016

Ex-Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat died in a suburb of Paris in 2004
Ex-Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat died in a suburb of Paris in 2004

A French court has refused to reopen an investigation into the death of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat amid suspicions that he was poisoned, saying there is no legal ground for an eventual murder trial.

The general prosecutor's office in Versailles said on Friday that an appeals court upheld a decision by investigating judges who dismissed the case last year, saying there is no evidence that Mr Arafat was murdered.

Mr Arafat died in a military hospital in a Paris suburb in 2004 after his health suddenly deteriorated. The cause of death has never been clarified.

The ex-leader's widow, Suha Arafat, filed a complaint in 2012 after traces of polonium, a highly toxic radioactive substance, were found on her husband's belongings.

Her lawyers may still appeal to France's highest court over the ruling.

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From Belfast Telegraph