Graphic fact file on polonium 210, a highly radioactive material found on clothing used by Yasser Arafat before his death in 2004, according to Swiss experts, and used in the 2006 assassination of Russian ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko
Graphic fact file on polonium 210, a highly radioactive material found on clothing used by Yasser Arafat before his death in 2004, according to Swiss experts, and used in the 2006 assassination of Russian ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko © - - AFP Graphic
Graphic fact file on polonium 210, a highly radioactive material found on clothing used by Yasser Arafat before his death in 2004, according to Swiss experts, and used in the 2006 assassination of Russian ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko
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AFP
Last updated: October 15, 2013

Russia denies issuing conclusions over Arafat's death

The Russian agency involved in studying the remains of Yasser Arafat on Tuesday denied issuing any conclusions about the death of the late Palestinian leader, after a report cited its chief as saying he could not have died from polonium poisoning.

Russia's Federal Medical-Biological Agency (FMBA) was one of several international agencies involved in exhuming Arafat's remains in November 2012.

Interfax earlier quoted FMBA head Vladimir Uiba as saying he doubted a report published in The Lancet over the weekend saying that Swiss radiation experts had found traces of polonium on Arafat's clothing.

"He could not have been poisoned by polonium," Uiba told the Russian news agency.

"The Russian experts who conducted the investigation did not find traces of this substance."

However, the FMBA quickly denied that Uiba had ever issued such a statement to Interfax.

"We have not publicised any official results of our forensic review," a spokesman for the agency told AFP by telephone, reading from an official statement.

"Neither have we publicly confirmed nor denied media reports about there being or not being polonium in Arafat's remains."

Pressed to explain the Interfax report, the agency's spokesman said: "There was no statement."

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