Magazine article The New American

Was Milosevic Poisoned?

Magazine article The New American

Was Milosevic Poisoned?

Article excerpt

On March 9, the day before he died in his UN detention cell in The Hague, former Yugoslav ruler and career communist thug Slobodan Milosevic wrote a six-page letter to a legal aide expressing suspicions that he was being poisoned.

Two days after the former Serbian strongman's death, Dutch toxicologist Donald Uges reported finding "rifampicin, an antituberculosis drug that 'makes the liver extremely active' and thus breaks down other medications very quickly, possibly taking away their effectiveness," reported the AP. An official autopsy concluded that Milosevic had died of a heart attack. For several weeks prior to his death, he had repeatedly requested permission to travel to Russia for medical treatment, but those requests had been denied.

Prior to Donald Uges' report, Carla Del Ponte, chief prosecutor for the UN's International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY), dismissed the idea that Milosevic had been poisoned. After material evidence emerged lending credence to that claim, Del Ponte insisted that suicide "should not be ruled out" as a last act of "defiance" on the part of the former dictator. Both of Milosevic's parents committed suicide, and the former dictator was prone to dramatic, self-destructive gestures.

But even though a guilty verdict was a foregone conclusion in the Soviet-style UN "trial," Milosevic--serving as his own chief defense counsel--just weeks before his death, pried loose an important piece of evidence that may have gotten him killed. …

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