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Arafat 'may have been poisoned'

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was poisoned to death in 2004 with radioactive polonium, his widow Suha said after receiving the results of Swiss forensic tests on her husband's corpse.

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Radioactivity expert: Certainty of findings 'limited'

An expert in radioactivity measurements told ITV News that while he believes the scientists who concluded Arafat was poisoned did a "thorough and careful job" and considered factors that could impact their findings, the seven-year delay makes the statistical certainty of their conclusions "limited".

The number of polonium atoms which were initially present at the time of his death would have reduced by a factor of at least one million compared to what could be measured now, seven years later...thus any radioactivity from such a sample would be much harder to measure now compared to a time period closer to his time of death.

The measurements are further complicated by the fact that 210-Polonium is present in measurable amounts in the natural background radiation in the earth's crust and in normal, healthy biological materials such as human bone.

– Paddy Regan, Professor of Radionuclide Metrology at Surrey University

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