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Yasser Arafat’s Death Becomes a Murder Investigation in France

AWAD AWAD/AFP/Getty Images(PARIS) -- The 2004 death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat is now a murder investigation in France.

Prosecutors agreed to look into the matter after Arafat's family pushed for an official investigation into the death of the former chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, who died in Paris at age 75.

Arafat fell into a coma at his Ramallah compound and was transported to France for treatment that failed to revive him.  His official cause of death was listed as a stroke resulting from a blood disorder.

However, a subsequent probe of Arafat's belongings uncovered what were described as "significant" traces of radioactive polonium-210 on his clothing.

The most famous example of someone dying from that toxic substance was former KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko, who was poisoned with polonium-210 after obtaining political asylum in London in 2006.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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