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Swiss lab to discuss probe of suspected Arafat poisoning

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(GlobalPost/GlobalPost)

Swiss scientists who carried out a probe reportedly showing that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat probably died from polonium poisoning will give a press conference Thursday to discuss the results.

Patrice Mangin, who heads the Lausanne University Centre of Legal Medicine (CURML), and François Bochud, who heads the Institute for Radiation Physics (IRA), will speak to the media at 1:45 pm (12:45 GMT), their institutes said in a statement.

The two professors "will answer questions linked to the expert report handed Tuesday to representatives for Mrs Suha Arafat and the Palestinian National Authority," the statement said.

It will be the first time the Swiss experts speak publicly about the findings, which were published by Al-Jazeera television on Wednesday.

According to the Qatar-based satellite broadcaster, their tests on Arafat's remains "moderately support the proposition that the death was the consequence of poisoning with polonium-210".

Arafat died in France on November 11, 2004 at the age of 75, but doctors were unable to specify the cause of death. No autopsy was carried out at the time, in line with his widow's request.

Israel has always rejected widespread Palestinian suspicions that their leader had been poisoned.

Arafat's widow said in an interview with Al-Jazeera that the poisoning amounted to "the assassination of a great leader" and a "political crime".

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/131107/swiss-lab-discuss-probe-suspected-arafat-poisoning