World Bulletin / News Desk
Three French judges are preparing to travel to Ramallah to seek the exhumation Yasser Arafat's body as part of an investigation into whether he was murdered by poison, a judicial source told Reuters on Wednesday.
The investigating magistrates will need approval from both Israel and the Palestinian Authority, but Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has already expressed his government's willingness to exhume the body from a limestone sepulchre in Ramallah.
Arafat's widow, Suha, said in a statement sent to Reuters that the judges told her lawyer they had begun the necessary steps to travel to Ramallah, where police experts would carry out tests under their authority.
"I respectfully ask the Palestinian Authority and the Arab League to suspend all initiatives while the French justice system is looking into the case, other than to act together with them," Suha Arafat wrote.
The French murder investigation should take precedence over all other procedures, because it is the "incontestable guarantee of independence and neutrality", she added.
The court launched the murder inquiry last month into the 2004 death of Arafat in a Paris military hospital after his widow said he may have been poisoned.
No autopsy was carried out after Arafat died, aged 75, a month after being flown to France, seriously ill, from his Israel-besieged headquarters in Ramallah.
At that time, French doctors said they could not establish a cause of death.
Suha Arafat's allegations of poisoning followed a Swiss institute's discovery of high levels of the radioactive element polonium-210 on Arafat's clothing.
The Institute of Radiation Physics in Lausanne said last week it was willing to help conduct a scientific investigation into whether Arafat was poisoned, but that time was of the essence in order to detect traces of the radioactive substance.
The barrier stretches some 200 kilometres across about half the length of the frontier between the two neighbours
Moves threaten to undermine future Palestinian state, European Union warns
The arrests were carried out in the eastern cities of Valencia and Alicante and in Spain's North African enclave of Ceuta
The potential reforms are meant to address longstanding public grievances in the North African nation
'Two incidents in which there may have been possible civilian casualties are being investigated in around 1,300 missions carried out by the Netherlands.' the Dutch government says
EU foreign policy chief says there is no set date for the visit, but the preparations are under way with the Iranian side
The international community has harshly reacted to North Korea's announcement of successful rocket launch
Turkish PM pays two-day visit to Kazakhstan to discuss transportation, energy and trade issues
Three masked gunmen armed with knives and a meat cleaver threatened a family in Salford Manchester. The crime is now being investigated as a race crime.
Just one day after the Shebab overtook the Merka port, Somali and AU troops have retaken the key port
Somalia's Shebab retook their former stronghold of Merka on Friday from African Union troops who pulled out of the port they had held for three-and-a-half years
More than 100 people have been killed from a fever outbreak forcing the UN to launch a response against the epidemic.
On Friday the Pentagon released close to 200 photographs of detainee abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan, taken mostly between 2004 and 2006
Despite an assets freeze and travel ban, a commander was able to fly to Chad and a number of other countries.