Former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat died of natural causes, not radiation poisoning, the head of a Russian state forensics agency that tested samples taken from his body said on Thursday, according to a private news agency of Russia.
The Russian finding was in line with an assessment by French scientists who said earlier this month that Arafat, who died in 2004, had not been killed with radioactive polonium.
“Yasser Arafat died not from the effects of radiation but of natural causes,” Vladimir Uiba, head of the Federal Medico-Biological Agency (FMBA), was quoted as saying by the news agency.
Arafat, who signed the 1993 Oslo interim peace accords with Israel but then led an uprising in 2000, died at 75 in a French hospital four weeks after falling ill following a meal in his Ramallah compound surrounded by Israeli tanks.
The official cause of death was a massive stroke, but French doctors said at the time they were unable to determine the origin of his illness. No autopsy was carried out.