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Mladic's Ex-Family Doctor Proposed As Serbian Health Minister

Retired General Zoran Stankovic
BELGRADE -- A close friend and doctor of the family of alleged Bosnian Serb war criminal Ratko Mladic has been nominated to be Serbian health minister, RFE/RL's Balkan Service reports.

Retired General Zoran Stankovic, a pathologist, is a former Serbian defense minister and head of the military's medical academy. He was proposed by coalition member G17 Plus party to replace Tomislav Milosavljevic, who resigned after corruption allegations were made.

The parliament will have to approve Stankovic's nomination.

As chief pathologist of the former Yugoslav army that backed the Bosnian Serb army, Stankovic was often seen in Mladic's company during Bosnia-Herzegovina's 1992-95 war.

Stankovic, 56, also carried out the autopsy of Mladic's daughter after she committed suicide in 1994.

He was appointed to head the military medical academy in 2002, and some UN war crimes investigators suspected that he helped hide Mladic at the academy.

"The prosecution clearly presented evidence that Mladic visited the academy several times while Stankovic worked there and was its head," said Florence Hartmann, a former spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia at The Hague.

However, after being appointed defense minister of Serbia and Montenegro in 2005, Stankovic revealed the names of 50 officers who helped Mladic stay at large.

After Serbia and Montenegro went their separate ways in 2006, he was appointed Serbian defense minister and many analysts believed then that his main task was to help catch Mladic.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia has recognized Mladic as the top military general with command responsibility for the massacre at Srebrenica and the siege of Sarajevo that occurred between 1992-95 in which thousands of Bosnian Muslims and others were killed.