Arafat's personal doctor calls for autopsy
CAIRO, Nov 11 (AFP) - The personal physician of Yasser Arafat called for an inquiry into the cause of the veteran Palestinian leader's death on Thursday.
"I demand an official inquiry and an autopsy ... so the Palestinian people can learn in all transparency what caused the death" of their leader, Dr Ashraf al-Kurdi said on Al-Jazeera television only hours before Arafat was due to be buried.
He said his suspicions were aroused by the absence of any information about Arafat's health since he was admitted to hospital in Paris on October 29 and that Arafat was conscious when he left his Ramallah compound.
Amid the doubt, rumours have surfaced that Arafat was poisoned but doctors in Paris and Palestinian foreign minister Nabil Shaath rejected that speculation.
Kurdi, who was Arafat's personal physician for more than 20 years, said he had been surprised by the actions of some members of the veteran leader's office.
He said they took too long to contact him even though Arafat's health was in rapid decline.
Kurdi, who did not travel to Paris his patient, said he could not draw any conclusions about the death despite his suspicions.
11/11/2004 20:42 GMT - AFP