Milosevic's son says father was 'killed' - East Valley Tribune: Nation / World

Milosevic's son says father was 'killed'

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Posted: Tuesday, March 14, 2006 5:02 am | Updated: 2:46 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

THE HAGUE, Netherlands - Slobodan Milosevic's son alleged on Tuesday that his father had been "killed," while a U.N. war crimes tribunal official said the court had been told the late Serb leader had regular access to unprescribed medication and alcohol smuggled into his prison cell.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the tribunal's strict confidentiality rules, told The Associated Press that the unit's prison warden had told the court that he could no longer guarantee Milosevic's health.

The official said prison authorities repeatedly found banned material in his cell, including alcohol and unprescribed drugs.

The prison warden, Timothy McFadden, refused interview requests, and U.N. tribunal spokeswoman Alexandra Milenov said the court could not comment "because the investigation into Milosevic's death is ongoing."

The tribunal official, who has access to confidential documents on Milosevic's medication use, said two doctors concluded that the former Serb leader was intentionally taking drugs that undermined the prescribed medication for his heart ailment.

Milosevic, who was defending himself against 66 counts of war crimes, was allowed to work in a private office where he could meet privately with witnesses and legal advisers, making it impossible to monitor material they may have smuggled in to him, the official said.

A Dutch toxicologist, Donald Uges, said on Monday that blood tests he conducted on samples taken from Milosevic earlier this year uncovered traces of a drug used to treat leprosy or tuberculosis that would neutralize the effects of the beta-blockers Milosevic was taking to control his blood pressure.

The official said other doctors had found similar results in their tests.

U.N. prosecutors complained as early as 2004 that Milosevic was defying his regime of prescribed medication and taking other drugs to manipulate his health to his advantage during the court proceedings. The trial was repeatedly interrupted at critical points because of the defendant's ill health.

Four Russian medical experts traveled to the Netherlands on Tuesday to examine the results, saying they distrusted the findings and the care that Milosevic received from U.N. authorities.

The former president's son, Marko Milosevic, flew to the Netherlands to claim the remains of his father.

"He got killed. He didn't die. He got killed. There's a murder," Marko Milosevic said on arriving in Amsterdam for the short drive to The Hague where his father's remains have been kept since his death was discovered Saturday.

Milosevic, the Serbian strongman who presided over four Balkan wars and the breakup of Yugoslavia that cost some 250,000 lives, died of a heart attack, according to preliminary autopsy findings.

The results of a toxicological examination during the autopsy on Milosevic were due to be released in the coming days, said tribunal spokeswoman Alexandra Milenov.

In Courtroom 1 at the tribunal building, meanwhile, the case against Milosevic was declared closed on Tuesday.

Judge Patrick Robinson, who repeatedly clashed with the combative defendant over four years, said the Milosevic's "untimely passing ... terminates these proceedings." A formal order closing the file would be issued shortly, he said.

The two-minute hearing brought an abrupt end to the most important war crimes trial in 60 years, in a case that was meant to establish political responsibility for the worst crimes known to man - genocide.

It was still unclear where Milosevic would be taken for burial. The family requested a state funeral in Belgrade - though a ceremony with state honors was unlikely to be granted since it could become a rallying point for nationalists and Milosevic loyalists.

A Belgrade court said Tuesday that an arrest warrant for Slobodan Milosevic's wife had been suspended, leading to a possible Belgrade funeral.

The court said Mirjana Markovic "will remain free and will not be taken into custody" after her lawyers deposited a bond worth $17,000 guaranteeing she would appear in court at a hearing that has not yet been scheduled.

Markovic left Serbia in February 2003 to join her son, Marko, in Russia, and an Interpol arrest warrant was issued against her the same month over a real estate scandal. It was briefly revoked and later reinstated after Markovic failed to appear in court in September 2005.

But, the court said, "on her arrival in the country, the defendant's passport will be impounded."

Markovic has said she would return to Serbia only if the arrest warrant was lifted.

But she has also indicated in recent interviews with Belgrade media that she had plans to return to Russia after the burial. The impounding of her passport would prevent her from leaving Serbia.

On Monday, Marko Milosevic raised the possibility of a temporary burial in Russia if the Serb government banned a Belgrade funeral.

Milosevic was the sixth war crimes suspect from the Balkans to die at The Hague. A week earlier, convicted former Croatian Serb leader Milan Babic, a star prosecution witness against Milosevic, killed himself in the same prison.

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