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.
Leaders object to KRG referendum vote, agree to fight terror groups with ‘determination’
Islamophobia threatening alienation among Europe's Muslims despite high attachment to home countries
Now everything is down to those plans becoming reality, the lender cautioned.
Turkish aid agency responds in aftermath of 8.2-magnitude earthquake which stuck on Tuesday
Thousands took to the streets of the Mediterranean seaside city on Wednesday after police detained key members of the team allegedly organising the vote slated for October 1 in a region deeply divided over independence.
Terrorist group loses five more villages in Saladin province north of Baghdad, local security sources say
Local media reported that Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, a former African Union chief, was sworn in Thursday as a member of parliament for the governing African National Congress.
EU says CETA free-trade deal with Canada will not be 'fully implemented' until all member states ratify it
May flew home with Johnson overnight from New York, where they had attended the UN General Assembly, landing at dawn before holding a special cabinet meeting in Downing Street.
Protests in Greek capital as Eldorado mining firm tells Athens to issue delayed licences
Far-right party has struggled since Marine Le Pen lost May's presidential race to Emmanuel Macron
British police arrest teenage male in connection with bomb attack which injured 30 in London Underground train on Friday
President Emmanuel Macron says UN Security Council must condemn genocide, ethnic cleansing in Myanmar
Igbo group denies they are violent, want to create a separate homeland for their people
Erdogan attends Fashion for Development event during UN General Assembly
Deputy chief justice Philomena Mwilu described "disturbing, if not startling, revelations" about the conduct of the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and singled it out for ignoring a Supreme Court order to open up its computer servers after opposition allegations of hacking.