Nelson Mandela and the late PLO leader Yassir Arafat. People in Palestine are commemorating the fifth anniversay of his death in 2004., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Arafat's death probe faces difficulties
English.news.cn 2012-11-28 11:44:56
BEIJING, Nov. 28 (Xinhuanet) -- Though late Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, has been dead for eight years, controversy continues to reign over the cause of his death.
On Tuesday, Arafat’s remains were exhumed in order to allow samples to be taken for tests, to establish whether he was poisoned.
CCTV’s reporter sat down with Dr. François Bushu, Director of the Institut De Radiophysique in Switzerland, to talk about what difficulties and challenges the investigations may encounter. Dr. Francois Bushu says he hopes to be able to carry out soft tissue tests, though if this is not possible, tests will have to be carried out on the bones. Human bones contain naturally occurring traces of polonium, and Dr. Bushu says it may be difficult to establish whether the level of polonium in Arafat’s body is normal.
Dr. Francois Bochud, Director of Institute de Radiophysique, Switzerland, said, "The biggest difficulty we face is to determine how much radioactive polonium-210 in Arafat’s bones has been absorbed normally from nature and how much is abnormal phenomenon. Because such a long time has passed, if Arafat ingested polonium-210 when he was alive, the quantity of polonium will have decreased to less than a millionth. It is very difficult for us to judge whether Arafat ingested excessive polonium-210 when he was alive."