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Doctors in Vienna Say Yushchenko Poisoned - 2004-12-11


Doctors in Vienna say Ukraine's opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko was the victim of dioxin poisoning.

The director of (Rudolfinerhaus) a leading Vienna hospital, Dr. Michael Zimpfer, told reporters today (Saturday) the level of dioxin in Mr. Yushchenko's blood and tissues was found to be more than 1,000 times normal. He said there is no doubt the illness that disfigured Mr. Yushchenko's face was the result of the dioxin.

Dr. Zimpfer said Mr. Yushchenko probably took in food or drink containing dioxin shortly before he became ill in September. He said he suspects third-party involvement, but he could not confirm this.

Mr. Yushchenko consistently has accused opponents of trying to poison him ahead of November's disputed presidential election.

Ukraine's Supreme Court voided the outcome of the election on grounds of widespread fraud. The results had showed Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych as the winner.

A court-ordered repeat of the run-off contest between the two men is set for December 26th.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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