Pathologist: Unclear what remains of Yasser Arafat's body

It is not at all clear what forensic investigators will find when they open Yasser Arafat's coffin, according to forensic pathologist Dr Stuart Hamilton.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that it depends on a number of factors including:

  • How the body has been buried
  • What condition it was in when it entered the ground
  • How expensive the coffin was
  • Whether modern embalming techniques were used

He said: "I think it is certainly possible that they could find residual traces of radioactive material," but added it was doubtful they would find solid evidence of poisoning if only bones remain.

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Yasser Arafat's body exhumed

The body of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has been exhumed over allegations that he was poisoned. Mr Arafat died in Paris in 2004 aged 75 after a short, mystery illness.