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.
Marking 3rd anniversary of Russian annexation, Petro Poroshenko decries illegal occupation of Ukrainian territory
Without mentioning any paid ransom, local police spokesman confirms release of duo abducted Wednesday in NW Kaduna state
Last week, Iraqi army began a fresh operation aimed at purging remaining ISIL terrorists from Mosul’s western districts
The assassination of the former deputy prime minister on February 27, 2015 was the highest-profile killing of a critic of President Vladimir Putin since the ex-KGB officer took charge in 2000.
The assaults left 560 people injured, including 43 children, the ministry said.
The independence and neutrality of the justice system is under scrutiny ahead of a two-stage presidential election in April and May amid several high-profile probes into Fillon and Le Pen.
The decision, announced late Saturday, was taken following a request from President Mahamadou Issoufou after Wednesday's attack near the border with Mali.
In an interview, Jean-Nicolas Beuze, the representative in Canada of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said it was too soon to know whether the cross-border flow of people is an uptick or signals a longer trend.
Raed Saleh and fellow White Helmet member Khaled Khatib had been set to attend Sunday's ceremony in Hollywood, where "The White Helmets" is shortlisted for best short documentary.
Perez, a labor secretary under former president Barack Obama and the party's first Hispanic-American leader, immediately named the contest's runner-up, leftist lawmaker Keith Ellison, as the party's deputy chairman.
The State Committee for National Security (GKNB) said Omurbek Tekebayev, who leads the nominally socialist Ata-Meken party, was detained on Sunday after landing at the country's airport.
Decision by Kenya Red Cross Society follows abduction of its staff, blocking of aid trucks in Baringo county
Amid an ongoing feud with media, U.S. president says he won't attend annual White House Correspondents' Dinner
One suspect in custody, incident likely caused by driving under the influence, police say
After the DUI's decision, the SDSM said its top body unanimously confirmed Zaev as candidate for forming a new government.
The exact date has not yet been fixed, they said.