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Souha Arafat Files a Complaint in France for Murder

Translated Wednesday 1 August 2012, by Elisha Sum and reviewed by Henry Crapo

Following the release of a documentary suggesting that there were high levels of polonium on Yasser Arafat’s personal effects, the widow of the Palestinian leader will file a complaint this Tuesday against “X” for murder at the Court of Nanterre.

“This complaint for murder directed against ‘X’—so that Souha and Zahwa Arafat are not accusing anyone: neither the State, nor group or individual—is not time-barred because she is filing less than 10 years after the fact and has no other purpose than to establish the truth in memory of him as a husband and father,” the statement said. This complaint and claim for participation as claimant in the action will be filed during the day, on behalf of Souha Arafat and her daughter Zawra, who is a minor, into the hands of the chief investigating judge of the High Court of Nanterre, according to a press release issue by the office of French lawyer Pierre-Olivier Sur.

Sur announced in July that Ms. Arafat requested for him to prepare this complaint. “Souha and Zahwa Arafat completely trust in the French justice system, and in order to enable him to complete his task in full independence, they will not give any interviews during the course of the lawsuit unless someone were to use what they’re doing for the purposes of political manipulation,” the lawyer also noted in his press release.

According to tests performed by a Swiss laboratory, abnormally high traces of polonium, a lethal radioactive substance, were found on the personal effects of Yasser Arafat after his death. This finding was disclosed in a documentary televised on the Al Jazeera television channel. Polonium is a highly toxic, radioactive substance. In London in 2006, it was used to poison Alexandre Litvinenko, an ex-russian spy who opposed president Vladmir Putin. The Palestinian leader died on November 11, 2004, at the military hospital Percy, near Paris. The Palestinian authorities have given the green light for the exhumation of Yasser Arafat’s body in Ramallah, but a precise date has not yet been set.

Souha Arafat, who believes in the assassination theory, already stressed that Israel and the United States considered her husband an obstacle to peace in the Middle East, but she remains nevertheless wary about the substance of the accusations. “Arafat wanted the Palestinian cause of creating a Palestinian state to succeed, and it’s for that reason that they disposed of him,” she said to Al Jazeera.

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