Unexplained Delay In Arafat Probe

YERUSHALAYIM -

The mid-September deadline for a definitive forensic review of the allegations that arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat had been murdered was missed by European experts, and now some mystery surrounds the delay as well, the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper reported Tuesday.

Swiss, French and Russian experts at the Lausanne Medical Center in Geneva where samples of Arafat’s remains have undergone testing to determine if he had been poisoned by polonium have not said why they haven’t yet delivered the results.

Palestinian sources were quoted as saying that the delay might be due to an “official decision” motivated by political considerations, including the re-emergence of Palestinian allegations that Israel was behind his death, which might upset the peace talks.

Tawkif Tirawi, head of the Palestinian inquiry commission into Arafat’s death, refused to comment on the delay. He said only that his commission was in contact with the forensic experts who took Arafat’s samples and insisted there were no hurdles hindering the publication of the test results.