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Arafat to be exhumed on Tuesday

  • The body of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat is to be exhumed on Tuesday.

    His body will undergo tests to determine whether his death in Paris in 2004 was the result of poisoning.

    Arafat's medical records say he had a stroke due to a blood disorder.

    However, France opened a murder inquiry in August after Swiss experts working with a documentary film crew found radioactive polonium-210 on Arafat's personal effects.

    Chief investigator Taufik al Tirawi said they had recently asked Russia to help in the investigation as they had "an historical relationship" with Moscow.

    According to political analysts, the Palestinians seem to not trust France and Switzerland with regards to proving or disproving that Arafat was murdered.

    It is not yet known how long it will take the three countries to complete their tests.

    Most Palestinians are convinced their leader was murdered but there are doubts about the legitimacy of testing for polonium poisoning eight years after Arafat's death. The half-life of polonium is less than five months.

    His tomb, in Ramallah in the West Bank, was sealed off earlier this month.

    Once his body is removed from the tomb in Ramallah in the West Bank, scientists from France, Switzerland and Russia will each take samples.

    They will then take the samples to their respective countries to be tested for Polonium 210 and other lethal substances.

    Arafat's body will be reburied the same day with military honors.