• Switzerland's news in English
 
app_header_v3

No Arafat poison probe results before May

AFP/The Local · 7 Mar 2013, 08:16

Published: 07 Mar 2013 08:16 GMT+01:00

"There are two series of tests that have to be carried out. The first one is complete and we're going to start the second one, so there won't be any tangible results until the end of May," said Darcy Christen, spokesman for the Swiss University Centre of Legal Medicine in Lausanne.

In December, Professor Patrice Mangin, the centre's head and the man in charge of the tests, said the findings were expected within three or four months.

Christen explained that the delay was also due to a need to analyse the results in detail, then write an official report and submit it.

Arafat died in November 2004 in a French hospital, and there have been repeated claims that he was poisoned.

Last November, his body was exhumed from his grave in the West Bank city of Ramallah, enabling experts to take some 60 samples from his remains.

The samples were distributed among three teams doing separate analyses: the Lausanne lab, a French team carrying out a probe at the request of Arafat's widow Suha, and Russian experts appointed by the Palestinian Authority.

The investigations were launched after the Lausanne lab found abnormal traces of the radioactive substance polonium in Arafat's personal effects, which were examined at his widow's request.

There is no contact between the Swiss, French and Russian teams, Christen noted, underlining that the choice was deliberate to ensure the independence of their findings.

The Palestinian Authority has said it will petition the International Criminal Court in The Hague if proof is found that the veteran leader was poisoned.

Polonium was the substance that killed Russian ex-spy and fierce Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Man falls to his death over dropped ski pole
The site of the accident. Photo: Valais cantonal police

Frenchman dies after he went to pick up a dropped ski pole and fell 200 metres down a mountain.

Young migrant injured after jumping from window
The girl was staying in a centre for asylum seekers in Zweisimmen. Photo: Vasile Cotovanu

A 15-year-old girl due to be deported from Switzerland is in hospital after jumping from a window.

Woman faked airport bomb threat over marital tiff
The bomb threat caused a big security alert at Geneva airport. File photo: Richard Juilliart

Wednesday's bomb threat was invented by a woman who wanted to get revenge on her husband’s mistress.

Bencic joins Federer in opting out of Rio

The Swiss is the latest top 20 tennis star to pull out of Olympics.

Swiss sports court heads to Rio Olympics
CAS has relocated from Lausanne (pictured) to Rio to deal with doping matters. Photo: CAS

The Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has temporarily relocated to Rio so it can make rulings over Olympic doping from the scene.

Police step up security at Geneva airport after tip-off
File photo: eGuide Travel

UPDATE: Police gradually withdraw security measures put in place this morning after an unspecified threat against the building.

Swiss Post gives stamp of approval to Solar Impulse
The new stamp is available from today. Photo: Swiss Post

A new stamp commemorates the incredible journey of two Swiss pilots.

Family of four dies in Swiss motorway crash
The accident happened near Quinto in the canton of Ticino. File photo: Costas Tavernarakis

The accident happened on the A2 in Ticino.

Swiss glacier reveals body of skier missing for 53 years
Morteratsch glacier. Photo: Graubünden police

The 36-year-old German went missing in 1963.

 Federer to miss Rio, rest of season with injury
Federer is recovering from injury. Photo: AFP

Roger Federer will miss the remainder of the season, including next month's Olympic Games in Rio.

File photo: Chase Elliott Clark
Lifestyle
Study: a fifth of Swiss spy on neighbours
Photo: Katwarn.de
National
Switzerland mulls alarm text message service
Photo: The Local
National
Study: grazing cows are worse for the environment
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Photo: Kecko
National
Terror fears trigger Swiss run on guns
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Photo: Commune d'Ayent
National
Spectacular Valais ‘bisse’ to feature on new banknote
Photo: Swiss Post
National
Swiss Post moves to accept debit cards – sometimes
Photo: Chris Marquardt
Lifestyle
Police break up dispute over late-night laundry
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Photo: Grand Tours Project
Features
Why you should get on your bike in Switzerland
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Photo: The Local
Society
Swiss village tells landlords: don’t rent homes to refugees
Photo: Rolf Krahl/Christophe G
International
Survey: world willing to pay more for ‘Swissness’
Photo: The Local
International
Chaos in Como after Swiss send back refugees
Photo: AFP/The Local
Lifestyle
Nine top celebrity hotspots in Switzerland
Photo: Graubunden police
National
World-class Swiss climber Norbert Joos dies on ‘home mountain’
Photo: Kathleen Waters
Society
Italian ‘ignored’ by Swiss schools in language wars
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Photo: Whitepod
Features
The quirkiest places to stay in Switzerland
International
Migrant busted trying to sneak into Switzerland in a suitcase
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Photo: Jonathan Kos-Read
National
Basel suffers wettest six months for 150 years
Photo: Georges Gobet/AFP
Technology
Why Swiss science could suffer badly from Brexit fallout
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Photo: Robert Valencia
International
Swiss couple in Nicaragua told to give back adopted daughter
Photo: Zurich cantonal police
National
Police hunt prisoner on the run in Zurich murder case
Photo: Christoph G
Politics
Switzerland sets out law on expelling foreign criminals
Photo: Bernacqua
Lifestyle
Drone shocks nudists at Swiss waterpark
Photo: Basel Justice and Security Dept
Lifestyle
New signs lay down law and order for Basel prostitutes
4,556
jobs available