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Miloševic Trial To Resume Pending Health Check


UN Tribunal To Resume Miloševic Trial Next Week Pending Health Check

The genocide trial of the former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic will resume on 14 July if a cardiologist agrees that he is healthy enough to conduct his own defence, a United Nations war crimes tribunal announced today.

A day after three judges of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia ICTY adjourned the trial because of concerns over Mr. Miloševic's heart condition, they ruled it can re-start next week as "there is no evidence that the Accused is not fit to stand trial."

But the judges, sitting in The Hague, added there is evidence that Mr. Miloševic's health "is such that he may not be fit to continue to represent himself."

The ICTY said a court-appointed cardiologist with no previous connection to Mr. Miloševic must examine him and decide whether he is healthy enough to act as his own counsel and, if so, what impact that would have on the trial's schedule.

The trial will be adjourned between 21 July and 31 August in any case to allow Mr. Miloševic more time to prepare his defence. The prosecution concluded its case in February.

The former Yugoslav President is facing charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and other war crimes for his role in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Kosovo during the Balkan wars of the 1990s.

The trial, which began in February 2002, has already lost 66 days because of Mr. Miloševic's health problems.

Meanwhile, Mitar Vasiljevic, a Bosnian Serb man convicted for his part in the deaths of five Muslim men in 1992, was today transferred to Austria to serve out the remainder of his 15-year jail term.

Austria is one of 10 European countries which have signed deals to house criminals sentenced by the ICTY.

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