An Al-Jazeera documentary suggesting that former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat was killed by radioactive polonium was enough for French authorities to open a murder investigation after the late Palestinian leader's family requested one last month. Agence France-Press broke the story on Tuesday, quoting a source that said "a judicial murder inquiry has been opened, as expected following the complaint from Mrs. Arafat." Arafat’s widow, Suha, and his daughter, Zawra, filed the complaint on July 31 in France, where Arafat died in 2004. Medical records said his death was due to a stroke caused by an unknown infection, The New York Times reported in September 2005. But in July, an Al-Jazeera documentary raised the specter of polonium poisoning, Arafat's widow and the French government approved an autopsy -- something Suha Arafat had rejected at the time of his death. According to The BBC, Suha gave permission to the Institute of Radiation Physics at Switzerland's Lausanne University last week, the same institute that worked with Al-Jazeera, to analyze Arafat's remains.
The Palestinian Authority said on Tuesday it welcomed the French inquiry.