European Court of Human Rights rules against review of the cause of Yasser Arafat’s death

PLO CHAIRMAN YASSER ARAFAT PICTURE by Yaakov Saar

The European Court of Justice has thrown out an attempt by Yasser Arafat’s widow and daughter to have a case that examined the death of former Palestinian leader who died 17 years ago re-opened again.

As predicted by @NewsEchr the court chaired by a Ukrainian judge decided that his widow’s claIm that there had not been a fair trial in France was ” inadmissible” because it was beyond the power of the court to re-examine the evidence.

Yasser Arafat, who died on 11 November 2004 in France at the Percy Military Hospital where he was being treated following a decline in his state of health at a time when he was in Ramallah, Palestine. On his widow’s request, no post mortem was carried out.

Traces of highly radioactive polonium alleged to be found on Arafat’s belongings


In March 2012 traces of polonium 210, a highly radioactive material, suggesting that Yasser Arafat might have been poisoned, were found on his personal belongings that his widow had recovered after his death. They were entrusted to a journalist from the Al Jazeera television channel, C.S., to be analysed.

On 28 August 2012 the public prosecutor of Nanterre opened a judicial investigation on a charge of premeditated murder

Three investigating judges were appointed and three experts were asked to determine the cause of the decline in Mr Arafat’s health. Their operations took place in the presence of French and Swiss teams, together with a Russian team at the request of the Palestinian Authority.

The French judicial expert’s report concluded that the result of radiological analyses did not prove the existence of exposure to polonium 210. The Swiss report disagreed with the French findings. An additional expert’s report, ordered by the investigating judge, confirmed the findings of the French report.

The dispute began when the applicants wanted to submit another expert report and this was refused by the French judges. This led them to appealing to the European Court of Human Rights because they did not think the trial was fair.

The ECHR said that it couldn’t re-open the case again on a quarrel over the admissibility of evidence, this being primarily a matter for regulation by domestic law. It therefore did not fall within the Court’s remit to substitute its own
assessment of the facts and evidence for that of the domestic courts, its task being to ensure that
the evidence was taken in a manner that guaranteed a fair hearing. The judges ruled the application was “inadmissible” thus ending a long legal fight by his widow and daughter.

Exclusive with @NewsEchr: Murder or death by natural causes? European Court of Human Rights ruling 17 years after Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s death

Picture of Yasser Arafat by SA’AR YA’ACOV at the time he won the NOBEL PEACE PRIZE in 1994.

Family raise suspicions over his death

As the Middle East is still in turmoil an extraordinary ruling will be made by the European Court of Human Rights concerning events around the death of the Palestinian leader Yassar Arafat nearly 17 years ago.

His family have been suspicious he died from poisoning in 2004 and claim there was not a fair trial looking into this after he died in a French military hospital.

The applicants to the ECHR Suha El Kodwa Arafat and Zahwa El Kodwa Arafat, are French nationals.The case concerns a criminal complaint filed by the applicants, the widow and daughter of Yasser Arafat, who died on 11 November 2004 in France at the Percy Military Hospital where he was being treated, claiming that Mr Arafat had been the victim of premeditated murder.

They claim that the French authorities didn’t give their case a fair trial by refusing to include additional expert evidence.

They wanted an additional expert report on the cause of the decline in Mr Arafat’s health, as they had requested on account of their doubts concerning the origin and traceability of the sample used for that assessment, the methodology applied and the results, which were contradicted by the results obtained by Swiss experts.

They also criticise the refusal to order a fresh expert report on their behalf and to grant their other claims, based on contradictions between the results obtained by the different experts, Swiss and French, from their respective measurements and analyses. In French courts, Arafat’s wife and daughter were unsuccessful with their lawsuits and appeals. In 2017, they appealed to the European Court of Human Rights In French courts, Arafat’s wife and daughter were unsuccessful with their lawsuits and appeals. In 2017, they appealed to the European Court of Human Rights.

The court decision will be announced on Thursday raising an issue that has literally thought to have gone away and could not come at a worse time for Palestinian and Israeli relations. A ruling in their favour might re-open the issue but ECHR News believe they may lose the appeal.