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Miloševic Denies Delaying Genocide Trial


Miloševic Denies Deliberately Delaying Genocide Trial At UN Tribunal

The former Yugoslav President Slobodan Miloševic today denied deliberately altering his medicine intake to delay proceedings during his trial on charges of genocide and other war crimes at the United Nations-run International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

A day after opening his defence case, Mr. Miloševic told the ICTY he was taking medication prescribed by his own doctor because the medicine prescribed by tribunal-appointed doctors was making him drowsy, according to a summary of the day's proceedings given by ICTY press officials to the UN News Service.

The judges in Mr. Miloševic's trial, being held in The Hague, are considering whether to force him to accept defence counsel, even though he wants to continue representing himself, because they are concerned that the workload may exacerbate his heart problems.

The prosecution team told the Tribunal that Mr. Miloševic's ill-health, which has already led to several long delays in the trial, is so poor that he should be given defence counsel. They also said he had manipulated his medicine intake.

Lawyers appointed by the ICTY to ensure Mr. Miloševic gets a fair trial, and known as amici curiae or "friends of the court," told the judges that if they do impose counsel, then they should choose someone already familiar with the case.

According to the summary given by tribunal officials to the UN News Centre, Mr. Miloševic also said the doctors assigned to monitor his health should not come from NATO member countries because of its opposition to him during the Balkan wars of the 1990s.

Mr. Miloševic - who has been on trial since February 2002 - is facing is facing charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and other war crimes for his role in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Kosovo during the 1990s.

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