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Milosevic Died of Natural Causes: Inquiry

Milosevic Died of Natural Causes, Not Murder, UN Inquiry Confirms

New York, May 31 2006 6:00PM

Slobodan Milosevic, the late President of Yugoslavia and accused architect of genocide in the Balkans, was not the victim of murder at the time of his death from a heart attack in March, the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) said today, confirming the results of earlier investigations.

The court’s findings were contained in the report of an internal inquiry panel concerning the circumstances surrounding Mr. Milosevic’s death in the Tribunal's Detention facility on 11 March 2006.

The inquiry, headed by the Tribunal's Vice-President, Judge Kevin Parker, was ordered on the same day as Milosevic's death by Tribunal President, Judge Fausto Pocar.

Mr. Milosevic was “alone in the locked cell” when he died, the report says. An autopsy with full pathological and toxicological investigations confirmed that he had died of natural causes from a heart attack. No poison was found in his body, nor did any other chemical substance present in his body contribute to his death. In addition, there were no indications of external violence.

“Nothing has been found to support allegations reported in some sections of the media that Mr. Milosevic had been murdered, in particular by poisoning,” the report states.

At the time of his death, Mr. Milosevic faced 66 counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo between 1991 and 1999. The prosecution put forward a wealth of evidence, including the testimony of 295 witnesses and the presentation of 5,000 exhibits, in arguing its case.


ENDS

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