The late Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic (epa)
March 17, 2006 -- A toxicological report indicates the late Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic was not poisoned, as some of his supporters claim.
Judge Fausto Pocar, the president of the International War Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), said a report by Dutch doctors found no trace of poison in his blood.
They also found no traces of the drug rifampicin. A Dutch toxicologist had found rifampicin in Milosevic's blood stream two weeks prior to Milosevic's death. The drug could have counteracted the effects of hypertension medication that Milosevic was taking.
A preliminary autopsy report found that Milosevic, who was facing 66 charges including genocide and war crimes, died of a heart attack. Milosevic suffered from a heart condition and high blood pressure.
Milosevic was found dead on March 11 in his cell at the ICTY's detention center.
Pocar said the tribunal has ordered an independent investigation of the tribunal's detention unit.
Milosevic is to be buried on March 18 in Serbia.
(compiled from agency reports)
Slobodan Milosevic in an undated file photo (CTK)
HEART TROUBLES, HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE: Almost since the beginning of his trial in The Hague in February 2002, Slobodan Milosevic has been complaining of ill health. His trial has been repeatedly delayed as he sought medical treatment. As recently as February 24, the court declined Milosevic's request to travel to Russia for treatment for heart problems and elevated blood pressure, despite pledges from Moscow that Milosevic would be returned to The Hague to continue his trial on 66 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
"[My health is] getting worse because of the decision that gives me no chance or adequate time to prepare my defense, and that is pretty clear," Milosevic told the court on July 5, 2004. " Because of that, I think that you have an obligation to give me adequate time."
"[The judges] have been very clear that there is no evidence to suggest that Mr. Milosevic is not fit enough to stand trial," court spokesman Jim Landale told journalists the next day. "They have decided that the time has possibly come for them to assign what is called a 'standby counsel.' That is a lawyer who would work alongside Mr. Milosevic and, were Mr. Milosevic to become ill again, be able to step in and represent his interests in court."
Of related interest:
Moscow Unhappy At Milosevic Travel Ban To Russia
Milosevic Seeks Leave For Health Checks In Russia
War Crimes Trial Takes Summer Recess Amid Concerns Over Milosevic's Health
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