Probe says Milosevic death natural

A Dutch investigation into the death of Slobodan Milosevic has concluded that the former Yugoslav president died of natural causes.

    Milosevic was found dead in his detention cell

    "The public prosecutor has concluded that Milosevic died a natural death. There is not a single indication that the death was the result of foul play," a statement said on Wednesday.


    Milosevic was found dead in his cell at the detention unit in The Hague on 11 March, just months before a verdict was expected in his trial for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s.


    There had been speculation over whether Milosevic had deliberately tried to exacerbate his condition to strengthen his case for release or whether he had been poisoned, as the 64-year-old suggested in a letter to Moscow the day before he died.


    Heart attack


    An initial autopsy, conducted shortly after his death, had shown that Milosevic died of a heart attack.


    He had suffered from high blood pressure and a heart condition, which according to the autopsy explained his fatal heart failure.


    "In keeping with its earlier report, the National Forensic Institute has now definitely concluded that the cause of death was a heart attack," the Dutch prosecutors said.


    "In keeping with its earlier report, the National Forensic Institute has now definitely concluded that the cause of death was a heart attack"

    Dutch public prosecutors

    Final toxicological studies also confirmed there were no traces of poisoning or substances which could have triggered a heart attack.


    The prosecutors said that although non-prescribed medicines were found in Milosevic's cell in December 2005, no such medicines were found in his cell the day after he died.


    Medical treatment


    The president of the UN Yugoslav war crimes tribunal, where Milosevic was on trial for genocide and crimes against humanity, welcomed the final report that formally closed the Dutch investigation.


    But the tribunal will continue investigating the medical treatment Milosevic received in detention, said Judge Fausto Pocar, the tribunal president.


    "The internal inquiry expects to conclude its investigation on these issues shortly," he said. 

    SOURCE: Agencies


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