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Tribunal Expected To Release Milosevic Body To Family


http://gdb.rferl.org/5834F125-BCAF-4C0C-A9FE-E8E95999EDD1_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/5834F125-BCAF-4C0C-A9FE-E8E95999EDD1_mw800_mh600.jpg Slobodan Milosevic pictured in court in August 2004 (epa) March 13, 2006 -- The United Nations war crimes tribunal is expected today to release Slobodan Milosevic's body to his family, but it remains unclear where the former Yugoslav president will be buried or cremated.


Serbian President Boris Tadic has said Milosevic, who was on trial at The Hague for war crimes and genocide in the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s, will not be given a state funeral. Milosevic's widow, Mirjana Markovic, has been living in Russia and faces arrest if she returned to Serbia.


The UN tribunal late on March 12 said preliminary autopsy results showed that the 64-year-old Milosevic died from a heart attack suffered in his jail cell on March 11.


Tribunal spokeswoman Alexandra Milenov said, however, that poisoning could not yet be ruled out as a possible contributing factor in the death, and that toxicology tests would be carried out.


"According to the pathologists, Slobodan Milosevic's cause of death was a myocardial infarction," Milenov said. "Further, the pathologists identified two heart conditions that Slobodan Milosevic suffered from, which they said would explain the myocardial infarction. The prosecution service of The Hague informed the registrar that a toxicological examination will still be carried out."


Serbian experts who attended the autopsy said the procedure was carried out very professionally by Dutch pathologists.


(compiled from agency reports)

Croatia's President Comments

Slobodan Milosevic (left) shakes hands with Croatian President Franjo Tudjman after the signing of the Dayton peace accord in Paris on 21 November 1995 (epa)

NO COMPROMISES: On September 20, 2004, Croatian President STIPE MESIC gave an extensive interview to RFE/RL's South Slavic and Albanian Languages Service in which he discussed the history of the collapse of Yugoslavia, as well as the 1990s Balkans conflicts and Slobodan Milosevic's role in them (the complete interview in Croatian).
During this period, Mesic enjoyed a stormy relationship with Franjo Tudjman, who was Croatia's president at the time. Mesic was one of several prominent moderate Croats who did not hide his disapproval of the 1993-94 Croatian-Muslim conflict in Bosnia. Many observers held Tudjman responsible for that conflict, since he seemed bent on partitioning Bosnia with Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic and establishing a greater Croatia.
Asked whether he, as the last president of the second or communist-era Yugoslavia, feels some responsibility for the demise of that state, Mesic told RFE/RL that it was clear to him when he arrived in Belgrade in 1991 to try to take up the rotating chair of the eight-member Yugoslav presidency that federal Yugoslav institutions had ceased to function. The solution, he felt, was to reach a new political agreement. The presidency consisted of representatives of the six republics -- Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro, and Macedonia -- plus the Serbian autonomous provinces of Kosovo and Vojvodina, which enjoyed a legal status close to that of the republics under the 1974 constitution.
But, Mesic argued, Milosevic did not want such a compromise. Instead, Milosevic sought to break up Yugoslavia and create a greater Serbia. In the course of carrying out his plan, Mesic charged, Milosevic indulged in genocide and other war crimes, and for that he was brought before the Hague-based war crimes tribunal.
Milosevic never gave Mesic the opportunity to lead the country to a compromise solution, because the Serbian leader and his three allies on the presidency prevented the Croat from taking over the rotating chair.
Mesic was supported by the representatives of Slovenia, Bosnia, and Macedonia, all of which were to declare their independence in the following months when it became clear that Milosevic was interested in controlling the federation and would destroy it if he could not dominate it. (Patrick Moore)

See also:

Timeline: The Political Career Of Slobodan Milosevic

Slobodan Milosevic's Life And Legacy


THE COMPLETE PICTURE: An archive of RFE/RL's coverage of the trial of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.

Of related interest:

RFE/RL Special: The Collapse Of Tito's Yugoslavia

RFE/RL Special: Yugoslavia's Democratic Revolution

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