'Nothing to hide' over Arafat's death, says Barnier

18th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 17 (AFP) - Amid speculation over the cause of Yasser Arafat's death, French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier said Wednesday that France has nothing to hide concerning the late Palestinian leader's medical file.

PARIS, Nov 17 (AFP) - Amid speculation over the cause of Yasser Arafat's death, French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier said Wednesday that France has nothing to hide concerning the late Palestinian leader's medical file.

"France is not hiding anything. The Palestinian leaders came to Paris ... before Yasser Arafat's death (and) met extensively with the medical team" treating him at a military hospital, Barnier told French television.

"After having met the medical team, the Palestinian foreign minister Nabil Shaath himself said that the rumour (that Arafat) was poisoned was unfounded."

Barnier said all of Arafat's medical records had been provided to the late leader's family, including his widow Suha.

Arafat died at a French military hospital last Thursday at age 75 after slipping into a coma on November 3.

Under French law protecting medical privacy, Barnier said, "The medical file is sent to the family, to everyone who has a right to it, who asks for it. And that is probably how ... the contents of the dossier will become known."

It is up to Arafat's next of kin to determine when to publish the information, the foreign minister added.

Primarily in the Arab world, rumours have been flying since Arafat died that he could have been poisoned by Israeli agents.

French newspaper Le Monde, citing "very good sources," reported Wednesday that the Palestinian leader died of a blood-clotting disorder and not of poisoning.

© AFP

Subject: French News

0 Comments To This Article