The Straits Times
Published on Nov 27, 2012

Arafat exhumation hoped to shed light on possible poisoning


RAMALLAH (AFP) - One of the biggest Middle East enigmas could come closer to a resolution on Tuesday, as remains of iconic Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat are exhumed to enable investigators to seek traces of poison.

The process will cap eight years of speculation about whether the former president was murdered, as many Palestinians believe.

French judges in charge of the investigation arrived on Sunday in the West Bank city of Ramallah, where Arafat's mausoleum stands in the grounds of the Muqataa complex, from which the late leader ruled and where president Mahmud Abbas has his headquarters.

Rumours and speculation have surrounded Arafat's death ever since a quick deterioration of his health before he died at the Percy military hospital near Paris in November 2004 at the age of 75.