Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic - the most notorious suspect to be indicted for crimes committed during the wars that engulfed the Balkans in the 1990s - died in detention on Saturday from a myocardial infarction, the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) announced today.
The heat attack was explained by two heart conditions plaguing the ex-leader, the ICTY said in a statement released at The Hague summarizing the results of an autopsy performed by Dutch forensic pathologists.
While a toxicological examination will still be carried out, Slobodan Milosevic's remains will be released to the family tomorrow, ICTY said.
Earlier today, Tribunal President Judge Fausto Pocar conveyed his “profound disappointment” that the trial against Mr. Milosevic will not be concluded. “It is extremely unfortunate that the victims and their families will not have a final answer in this case on the criminal responsibility of the accused,” he said.
ICTY Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte said she deeply regrets the fact that Slobodan Milosevic's death “deprives the victims of the justice they need and deserve.”
Born on 20 August 1941, Slobodan Milosevic rose to become President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, exercising widespread control. He was considered one of the prime architects of the heinous atrocities that accompanied the break-up of Yugoslavia and stood accused of the worst crimes known to man - genocide, crimes against humanity, violations of the laws or customs of war, and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions.
Mr. Milosevic was transferred to the ICTY in 2001 and pleaded not guilty to all counts against him.