The widow and daughter of former Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Yasser Arafat have lost an attempt to reopen an investigation into his death in 2004, The Guardian reported on Thursday.
Suha El Kodwa Arafat and Zahwa El Kodwa Arafat, who are both French nationals, filed a criminal complaint to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that claimed Arafat had been the victim of premeditated murder, after unsuccessful lawsuits in French courts.
However, in a ruling issued on Thursday, the ECHR said there had been no infringement of the right to a fair hearing and the complaint was “manifestly ill-founded”.
The court unanimously declared the complaint inadmissible, according to The Guardian.
Arafat died in Percy military hospital near Paris aged 75 in November of 2004 after developing stomach pains while at his headquarters in Ramallah.
His widow Suha lodged a complaint at a court in France in 2012, claiming that her husband was assassinated, sparking an inquiry.
The same year, Arafat's tomb in Ramallah was opened for a few hours, allowing three teams of French, Swiss and Russian investigators to collect around 60 samples.
Suha Arafat allowed investigators to exhume her husband’s body after traces of polonium-210 were found on clothing that she provided to scientists as part of an Al Jazeera documentary.
Following the investigation by the Swiss team, PA officials were quick to say that the findings proved that Arafat had been “assassinated” and, as expected, blamed Israel for the “assassination.”
In 2015, French judges closed an investigation into claims Arafat was murdered, without bringing any charges. The French court of appeal upheld the dismissal of the case, leading his widow and daughter to take their case to the ECHR.