2013年11月11日月曜日

Was Arafat Poisoned

アラファト議長が毒殺可能性がある。
 仏で死去したパレスチナ自治政府のアラファト議長の死因を調べていた
スイスの調査団が「放射性物質ポロニウム210で毒殺されたとする見解を
ある程度支持する」等とする報告書をまとめた。

Yasser Arafat死因調査
・2004年
 10月12日夕食から4時間経過した頃、 吐き気や嘔吐、腹痛、下痢が激し
     くなり、風邪と診断。
 10月29日パレスチナ自治区ウエストバンク本部から、仏パーシー陸軍
     病院へ転院。
 11月11日血液疾患による脳卒中で死亡。検死無し。
・2012年 スイス、仏裁判調査(?)、露(FMBA)の各調査団による調査開始。
・パレスチナ当局は全ての結果を精査し、最終結論を公表か。
・スイス調査団(CHUV)
 報告書
 尿の染みなどの痕跡からのポロニウムが検出された。
 遺体から採取した骨などの検体からも通常の18倍(?)ポロニウムが
 見つかった。
 ポロニウムの半減期が138日のため、8年後の検出は非常に難しく、
 不確実な 部分も多い。
 放射性物質ポロニウム210で毒殺されたとする見解をある程度支持する。
・Suha Arafat
 「スイスの調査団の報告書を基に、アラファト氏はポロニウムで毒殺さ
  れた」。
 「自然死ではなく、殺害されたことが科学的に立証された。
  同氏に近い人物が毒を飲ませた可能性がある」。

イスラエル元首相Yitzhak Rabinは、イスラエル内部の派閥争いで、暗殺
説があるが、Yasser Arafatも同様の可能性が出てきた。
Arafatをテロリストと呼んだ当時イスラエル首相のAriel Sharonの側近は
関与を否定。真実は不明。
白血病やHIV説もあったが、一部症状から見ると間違いではなさそうだ。

オスロ合意で、和平を目指しても、憎悪や利権等により、双方が内部で
指導者を暗殺か。

Palestinian Upgraded


Al Jazeera Investigates - What Killed Arafat?


Arafat's widow speaks out after exhumation


---アラファト氏、毒殺の可能性 スイス死因調査団が報告書---
2013.11.7 10:28
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/world/news/131107/mds13110710350002-n1.htm

 2004年にフランスで死去したパレスチナ自治政府のアラファト議長=当時(75)=の死因を調べていたスイスの調査団が「放射性物質ポロニウム210で毒殺されたとする見解をある程度支持する」などとする報告書をまとめた。中東の衛星テレビ、アルジャジーラが6日、報告書の内容を伝えた。
 フランスとロシアの調査団もそれぞれアラファト氏の死因を調べている。パレスチナ当局は全ての結果を精査し、最終結論を公表するとみられる。
 AP通信によると、当局者は、2日以内に記者会見を開き、詳細や今後の対応を示す方針。
 ロイター通信によると、アラファト氏の妻スーハさんも6日、スイスの調査団の報告書を基に、アラファト氏はポロニウムで毒殺されたと述べた。(共同)


---アラファト氏は「毒殺」と妻主張、スイスの調査報告受け---
2013年 11月 7日 10:18 JST
http://jp.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idJPTYE9A600V20131107

 [パリ 6日 ロイター] -2004年にフランスのパリで死去したパレスチナ自治政府のアラファト前議長の毒殺疑惑で、妻のスーハさんは6日、スイスで行われた調査の結果、前議長が放射性物質ポロニウムで毒殺されたことが判明したと述べた。
 スーハさんはロイターに対し「(アラファト氏が)自然死ではなく、殺害されたことが科学的に立証された」と述べた。また、ポロニウムがコーヒーかお茶、水に入っていたとみられると専門家が説明したことから、同氏に「近い人物」が毒を飲ませた可能性を指摘した。
 アラファト氏の墓は昨年11月に掘り起こされ、遺体から採取したサンプルをスイス、フランス、ロシアの各調査団が調べていた。スイス側は5日、報告書をスーハさんの弁護人とパレスチナ当局者に渡したという。
 パレスチナ解放機構(PLO)のWasel AbuYousef氏は6日の声明で、イスラエルがアラファト氏を暗殺したと非難した。一方、イスラエル側はアラファト氏の死亡への関与を否定している。
 ロシアのインタファクス通信は先月、ロシア当局者が遺体からポロニウムは検出されなかったと述べたと報道。ただ、ロシア連邦生物医学局(FMBA)はその後、当局の公式コメントはないと、報道を否定した。フランスによる調査結果はまだ公表されていない。


---アラファト氏毒殺説裏付けか 遺体からポロニウム検出---
2013.11.07 Thu posted at 09:59 JST
http://www.cnn.co.jp/world/35039542.html

 (CNN) 2004年に死去したパレスチナ自治政府のアラファト議長(当時)の死因を巡り、スイスの研究機関がアラファト氏の所持品や組織を調べた結果、放射性物質のポロニウム210が相当量検出されたと発表した。同氏の毒殺説を「ある程度」裏付ける結果だとしている。
 アラファト氏は04年11月、パリの病院で死去した。当時は病死とされたが、12年に所持品の一部からポロニウム210が検出されたことを受け、毒殺を疑う妻の希望で遺体が掘り起こされ、スイスの研究機関が調査を進めていた。
 その結果、下着に付着した尿の染みなどの痕跡から相当量のポロニウムが検出されたほか、遺体から採取した骨などの検体からもポロニウムが見つかったという。
 ただ、血液などの標本がほとんど残っていなかったことや、ポロニウムの半減期が138日と短いことなどから、8年後の検出は「非常に難しく、不確実な部分も多い」としている。
 この結果について英国の専門家は、「アラファト氏が死去した当時、体内に一定量のポロニウム210があり、健康状態が相当悪化していたことをうかがわせる」と指摘した。
 アラファト氏の死を巡り、イスラエルによる毒殺説を主張してきたパレスチナ自治政府の幹部は今回の結果を受けて、「すべてがイスラエルの仕業であることを指し示している。同国にはこのような毒殺の実績がある」と主張、国際的な犯罪捜査を求めると表明した。
 これに対してイスラエルの外務省報道官は6日、「我々は無関係だ」「イスラエルの関与を裏付けるものは何もない」と反論している。


---アラファト氏は「毒殺」 妻が主張、「ポロニウムで」---
2013.11.7 09:11
http://sankei.jp.msn.com/world/news/131107/mds13110709120000-n1.htm

 ロイター通信によると、2004年に死去したパレスチナ自治政府のアラファト議長(当時)について、妻スーハさんが6日、アラファト氏は放射性物質ポロニウムで毒殺されたと述べた。
 スーハさんは、土葬されているアラファト氏の遺体を掘り出し、遺骨から採取した検体を調査していたスイスの調査団の結果を受け取ったという。スイスの他に、ロシアとフランスの調査団もそれぞれ死因を調べていた。(共同)


---Yasser Arafat 'may have been poisoned with polonium'---
6 November 2013 Last updated at 22:31 GMT
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-24838061

The late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat may have been poisoned with radioactive polonium, says a Swiss forensic report obtained by al-Jazeera.

Arafat's official medical records say he died in 2004 from a stroke resulting from a blood disorder.

But his body was exhumed last year amid continuing claims he was murdered.

The Swiss report said tests on the body showed "unexpected high activity" of polonium, which "moderately" supported the poisoning theory.

Many Palestinians and others have long believed that Israel poisoned Arafat. Others allege that he had Aids or cancer. Israel has consistently denied any involvement.

A spokesman for the Israeli foreign ministry said the Swiss investigation was "more soap opera than science".

'Hole in theory'
The scientists - from the Vaudois University Hospital Centre (CHUV) in Lausanne, Switzerland - carried out a detailed examination of Arafat's medical records, samples taken from his remains and items he had taken into the hospital in Paris where he died in 2004.

The biological materials included pieces of Mr Arafat's bones and soil samples from around his corpse.

The scientists concluded that their results "moderately support the proposition that the death was the consequence of poisoning with polonium-210".

The scientists stressed that they had been unable to reach a more definitive conclusion because of the time that had lapsed since Arafat's death, the limited samples available and the confused "chain of custody" of some of the specimens.

Polonium-210 is a highly radioactive substance. It is found naturally in low doses in food and in the body, but can be fatal if ingested in high doses.

The scientists have made "a pretty strong statement", according to Prof Paddy Regan, an expert in radiation detection and measurement at the University of Surrey in the UK, who was not involved in the investigation.

"They are saying the hypothesis that Arafat was poisoned with polonium-210 is valid and has not been disproven by the data. However they cannot say definitively that he was murdered."

Prof Regan says a series of assumptions would have been made in order to ascertain how much Po-210 may or may not have been in Mr Arafat's body at the time of his death.

Po-210 has a short half-life of about 138 days.

Prof Regan said measuring the tiny fraction left and extrapolating it back to the time of Arafat's death was like a blind man holding the tail of an elephant and using the information to work out the size of the animal.

The second problem, he said, was that Po-210 occurs naturally in the environment. However, an indicator that the polonium may be synthetic is if there was far less Pb-210 (lead-210) in the samples.

The professor highlighted results from two samples - the shroud under the corpse of Mr Arafat and urine samples taken from his underwear - both showed high levels of Po-210 compared to Pb-210, possibly suggesting the presence of "additional" synthetic polonium.

He noted however that most of the samples of polonium measured in the report were accompanied by activities from Pb-210.

Parallel investigations are being carried out by French and Russian experts - one Russian official said last month that no traces of polonium had been found.

Yigal Palmor of Israel's foreign ministry told the BBC: "This is more soap opera than science."

He said the investigations had been commissioned by "interested parties" - Mr Arafat's widow and the Palestinian Authority - and had "never bothered" to look for some key data.

"The other huge hole in the theory is the absence of all access to the French hospital where Arafat died and to Arafat's medical files," said Mr Palmor.

"How can the cause of death be determined without the opinion of the doctors or the results of the medical tests they ran on the patient?

"Israel doesn't feel concerned in the least."
'Real crime'

Speaking in Paris, Arafat's widow, Suha, said the Swiss results revealed "a real crime, a political assassination".

"This has confirmed all our doubts. It is scientifically proved that he didn't die a natural death and we have scientific proof that this man was killed."

Reuters said she did not name any suspects and acknowledged that her husband had had many enemies in his lifetime.

Arafat, who led the Palestine Liberation Organisation for 35 years and became the first president of the Palestinian Authority in 1996, fell violently ill in October 2004 at his compound.

Two weeks later he was flown to a French military hospital in Paris, where he died on 11 November 2004, aged 75.

France began a murder inquiry in August 2012 after the Lausanne scientists, working with an al-Jazeera documentary crew, found traces of polonium-210 on Arafat's personal effects.

His widow had objected to a post-mortem at the time of his death, but asked the Palestinian Authority to permit the exhumation "to reveal the truth".

His remains were removed from his tomb in the West Bank city of Ramallah in November 2012 and reinterred the same day.

Last month, the head of the Russian Federal Medico-Biological Agency, Vladimir Uiba, was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying that Arafat "could not have been poisoned with polonium", saying that test carried out by Russian experts "found no traces of this substance".

However, the agency later denied that Mr Uiba had made any official statement on the findings.

The head of the Palestinian investigation team, Tawfiq Tirawi, confirmed on Tuesday that the Russian and Swiss reports had been delivered. The Palestinian team is reported to have handed over its findings on Saturday.


---Yasser Arafat may have been poisoned with polonium, tests show---
Angelique Chrisafis in Paris and Harriet Sherwood in Jerusalem
The Guardian, Wednesday 6 November 2013 18.34 GMT   
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/06/yasser-arafat-poisoned-polonium-tests-scientists

Swiss scientists find levels of polonium 18 times higher than normal in first forensic tests on former Palestinian leader's body

The first forensic tests on samples taken from Yasser Arafat's corpse have shown unexpectedly high levels of radioactive polonium-210, suggesting the Palestinian leader could have been poisoned with the rare and lethal substance.

The Swiss scientists who tested Arafat's remains after the exhumation of his body in November 2012 discovered levels of polonium at least 18 times higher than usual in Arafat's ribs, pelvis and in soil that absorbed his bodily fluids.

The Swiss forensic report was handed to representatives of Arafat's widow, Suha Arafat, as well as representatives of the Palestinian Authority on Tuesday. A copy of the report was obtained exclusively by the al-Jazeera TV network, which shared it with the Guardian before publication.

The Swiss report said that even taking into account the eight years since Arafat's death and the quality of specimens taken from bone fragments and tissue scraped from his body and shroud, the results "moderately support the proposition that the death was the consequence of poisoning with polonium-210".

Suha Arafat said the evidence in the report suggested that her then healthy 75-year-old husband, who died in 2004 four weeks after he first fell ill following a meal, was almost certainly murdered by poisoning. She told al-Jazeera: "This is the crime of the century."

Speaking to the Guardian after receiving the report, she said she would press for answers on who was responsible. "It's shocking … I remember how Yasser was shrinking at the hospital, how in his eyes there were a lot of questions. Death is a fate in life, it is everybody's fate, but when it's poison it's terrible. We are mourning him again now."

With Zahwa, 18, her daughter by Arafat, she said she suspected a "conspiracy to get rid of him", adding: "My daughter and I have to know who did it. We will not stop in our quest to find out. I hope the Palestinian Authority goes further on it, searching every single aspect of it. It is of course a political crime." She said: "This is separate from the peace process or talks. Any judicial investigation is separate from the peace process."

David Barclay, a British forensic scientist who had studied the report, told al-Jazeera: "The report contains strong evidence, in my view conclusive evidence, that there's at least 18 times the level of polonium in Arafat's exhumed body than there should be."

He said the report represented "a smoking gun". Barclay said: "It's what killed him. Now we need to find out who was holding the gun at that time," adding: "I would point to him being given a fatal dose. I don't think there's any doubt at all."

The Israeli government, however, dismissed the report. "The Swiss findings are not conclusive," said Yigal Palmor, a foreign ministry spokesman.

"Even if they did find traces of polonium that could indicate poisoning, there's no evidence of how that poisoning occurred. Before the Palestinian Authority jumps to conclusions, there are many questions still to be answered.

"Israel is not involved in any way. There's no way the Palestinians can stick this on us. It's unreasonable and unsupported by facts. We will see yet another round of accusations, but there's no proof."

Dov Weissglass, a former aide to Ariel Sharon, the Israeli prime minister at the time of Arafat's death, also denied Israeli involvement. "To the best of my knowledge, we had no hand in this," he said, adding that neither the prime minister nor the Israeli security services had played any part in the Palestinian leader's demise.

"By the end of 2004, we had no interest in harming him. By then, Arafat was marginalised, his control over Palestinian life was minimal. So there was no logic, no reason."

Danny Rubinstein, a journalist and author of a book about Arafat, had a different memory of events. In the weeks and months before Arafat's death, he said, people in Sharon's inner circle talked constantly about how to get rid of him. "For me, it was very clear from the beginning. Every day this was the topic - should we expel him, or kill him, or bomb the Muqata [Arafat's HQ]. It was obvious to me that they would find a way."

Palmor said that among the scientists who tested Arafat's remains only the French team were independent. The Swiss were commissioned by Suha Arafat, and the Russians by the Palestinian Authority, he said. "These results should be taken with a few grains of salt. This story is still as mysterious as it was on day one."

Tawfik Tirawi, head of the Palestinian committee investigating Arafat's death, did not respond to a request from comment. But a senior Palestinian leader, Hanan Ashrawi, said: "This report confirms the suspicions that we've had all along. We know Arafat was killed, now we know how. And we know who had the means, the opportunity and the motive. Justice must now take its course."

Arafat died in a French military hospital on 11 November 2004,. He had been transferred there from his headquarters in the West Bank after his health deteriorated over weeks, beginning with severe nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhoea around four hours after eating dinner on 12 October. French doctors have said he died of a massive stroke and had suffered from a blood condition known as disseminated intravascular coagulation, or DIC. But the records were inconclusive about what brought about the DIC. No autopsy was carried out.

Allegations that Arafat may have been poisoned emerged immediately after his death and the claim was raised again by al-Jazeera TV last summer, following a nine-month investigation culminating in the film What Killed Arafat?

Al-Jazeera said it was given access to a duffel bag of Arafat's personal effects by his widow, which it passed to a Swiss institute. Swiss toxicological tests on those samples including hair from a hat, saliva from a toothbrush, urine droplets on underpants and blood on a hospital hat found that the belongings had elevated traces of polonium-210, the lethal substance used to kill the Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko.

The Swiss institute said Arafat's bones would have to be tested to get a clearer answer, warning that polonium decayed fast and an autopsy needed to be done quickly. In August last year, French prosecutors opened a murder inquiry into Arafat's death. In November, Arafat's corpse was exhumed from its mausoleum in Ramallah in the presence of three international teams of scientists: the Swiss team, a French team that was part of the Paris judicial investigation and a Russian team.

The Swiss team's report states that they carried out toxicological tests on Arafat's "almost skeletonised body along with residues from his shroud". The samples, including fragments of bones taken from his left ribs and pelvis as well as remnants of tissue from the abdominal cavity and grave soil, showed "unexpectedly high" activity of polonium-210.

Suha Arafat's lawyer, Saad Djebbar, told the Guardian the Swiss report was "evidence that there was a crime committed". He said he had handed the Swiss report to French investigators, whose inquiry is ongoing. French scientists conducted their own tests as part of the legal investigation but have not published findings as the inquiry continues.

Arafat's daughter, Zahwa, a student of international relations in Malta, told the Guardian: "I want to find out who did it and their motive for doing it." She said she trusted the French investigation to shed light on that.


---Exclusive: Swiss study says polonium found in Arafat's bones---
November 6, 2013 9:46AM ET
By David Poort and Ken Silverstein
http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/11/6/swiss-study-poloniumfoundinarafatasbones.html

Scientists find at least 18 times the normal levels of radioactive element in late Palestinian leader's remains

PARIS - Swiss scientists who conducted tests on samples taken from Yasser Arafat’s body have found at least 18 times the normal levels of radioactive polonium in his remains. The scientists said they were confident up to an 83 percent level that the late Palestinian leader was poisoned with it, a conclusion that they said “moderately supports” polonium as the cause of his death.

A 108-page report (PDF) by the University Centre of Legal Medicine in Lausanne, which was obtained exclusively by Al Jazeera, found unnaturally high levels of polonium in Arafat’s ribs and pelvis, and in soil stained with his decaying organs.

The Swiss scientists, along with French and Russian teams, obtained the samples last November after Arafat's body was exhumed from a mausoleum in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

Dave Barclay, a U.K. forensic scientist and retired detective, told Al Jazeera that with these results he was wholly convinced that Arafat was murdered.

“Yasser Arafat died of polonium poisoning,” he said. “We found the smoking gun that caused his death. What we don’t know is who’s holding the gun at the time.

“The level of polonium in Yasser Arafat’s rib … is about 900 millibecquerels,” Barclay said. “That is either 18 or 36 times the average, depending on the literature.”

Suha Arafat, the Palestinian leader’s widow, received a copy of the report in Paris on Tuesday. “When they came with the results, I’m mourning Yasser again,” she said. “It’s like you just told me he died.”

The Swiss report examined only the question of what killed Arafat. It did not address or point toward who killed him or how.



By October 2004, toward the end of the second intifada, Arafat had been holed up for more than two years in his Ramallah presidential compound, which Israeli troops had surrounded and partly razed. He was elderly and frail, but his medical reports show he was “in good overall health and did not have any particular risk factors,” the Swiss report states.

On the evening of Oct. 12, Arafat suddenly fell ill after eating a meal. Based on his symptoms - nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain - his personal physician initially diagnosed flu.

But his health deteriorated swiftly, and Egyptian and Tunisian doctors flown in to see him could not pinpoint the source of his sickness.

On Oct. 29, a wan and weak Arafat was carried in a wheelchair from his headquarters. He waved and blew kisses to a waiting crowd and was put aboard a helicopter and taken to Jordan. From there, a French government plane carried him to Paris for emergency treatment at Percy military hospital.

French doctors were unable to diagnose or halt his decline, and he soon lapsed into a coma. On Nov. 11, Arafat, who symbolized the fight for Palestinian statehood, died at the age of 75.

Doctors at Percy hospital did not conduct an autopsy, announce the cause of death or release his medical records, which heightened speculation about the cause of his rapid demise. Many Palestinian officials close to Arafat believed he had been poisoned. In the West, rumors circulated that he had died of AIDS. Some doctors suggested that leukemia or a foodborne illness was to blame; others proposed that he had simply succumbed to old age.

By 2011, when Al Jazeera began an investigation, Arafat’s death was a cold case. During the investigation, Suha Arafat gave the network access to her late husband’s full medical records and a bag of his belongings, including clothing he wore during his final days. Tests conducted by the Swiss scientists who issued the new report found elevated levels of polonium-210, one of the element’s isotopes, in blood, sweat and urine stains on Arafat’s clothes.

In July 2012, Al Jazeera broadcast the results of its investigation in "What Killed Arafat?" The documentary triggered a French murder investigation and led to the exhumation of the leader's remains. Sixty samples of his body tissue were taken, and 20 each distributed to the Swiss team; a French team of judges and forensic experts assigned to the murder investigation; and a Russian group invited at the request of the Palestinian Authority.

The Russians are expected to disclose their results soon. The French are not expected to release their results before the murder investigation concludes.

Saad Djebbar, Suha Arafat’s lawyer, said the Swiss report was a “significant piece of the jigsaw puzzle” that could help the French murder inquiry.
A rare but lethal poison

Polonium is a soft, silvery-gray metal found in uranium ore. The isotope polonium-210 emits highly radioactive alpha particles, but they travel no more than a few centimeters in air and are “stopped by a sheet of paper or by the dead layer of outer skin on our bodies,” according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

For that reason polonium-210 is not a risk to human health as long as it remains outside the body. But a dose of 0.1 microgram - the size of a speck of dust weighing less than a millionth of a snowflake - would be fatal if it were ingested in food or liquids or inhaled in contaminated air.

Only a handful of people are reported to have died from polonium poisoning. The most famous case involves Alexander Litvinenko, a KGB officer turned dissident who received political asylum from the British government and lived in London.

Litvinenko died in November 2006, three weeks after meeting several Russians, including a onetime KGB officer, at London's Millennium Hotel. A British public prosecutor alleges that the Russians, acting at the behest of their government, poisoned Litvinenko by lacing his tea with polonium-210.

Polonium-210 is “one of the most obscure, most bizarre, and yet most merciless of poisons,” writes Alan Cowell in "The Terminal Spy," a book about the Litvinenko case.

It was used as a trigger for early nuclear weapons and subsequently as a power source for satellites and spacecraft. However, polonium-210 is extremely rare and would be difficult to obtain without the help of a government or access to a nuclear reactor. It also requires considerable scientific know-how to handle in a safe manner.

Polonium-210 is manufactured by bombarding the isotope bismuth-209 with neutrons in a nuclear reactor. Only about 100 grams are produced each year, almost all in Russia.

In terms of motive, the chief suspects would be Arafat’s Palestinian rivals or the Israeli government, his sworn enemy. Ariel Sharon, the prime minister in 2004, viewed Arafat as a “terrorist” and called his death "a turning point in Middle Eastern history.” A year earlier, then-Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said killing Arafat ''is definitely one of the options.”

However, Israel has always vehemently denied it had anything to do with his sickness or death, and to date no evidence has emerged that implicates it.

While Barclay expressed confidence in the cause of death, he said it would be a difficult case to solve.

“The main problem is the time frame,” he said. “If this was a murder that happened yesterday, you’d have witnesses and cell phone records, emails, bank transfers. In a nine-year-old case, that type of information will be hard to obtain.”

“We can’t point a finger at anyone,” Suha Arafat said. “The French are conducting a serious investigation. It takes time.”

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