The death of Slobodan Milosevic remains shrouded in uncertainty and controversy. Ahead of his burial in Serbia tomorrow, the UN War Crimes Tribunal has said initial examinations rule out poison or excessive doses of prescribed medicine. The former Yugoslav president was found dead in his cell in the Hague last Saturday. The court’s president, Fausto Pocar, said experts confirmed the cause of death as heart failure.
“Toxicological examination was carried out after the autopsy. The results are:so far, no indication of poisoning has be found. A number of medicinesprescribed for Mr Milosevic were found in the body material, but not in toxic concentration,” he said. Further tests are to be carried out and the Tribunal has said it will be some time before final conclusions can be made. Milosevic’s body is lying in Belgrade’s Museum of the Revolution after the government refused a state funeral for the ousted leader.
Some supporters queuing to pay their respects lambasted the Hague.
“I came here to express my great anger against the international community,” said one man. “I came to pay tribute to Milosevic who proved the Serbian people were not guilty as the international community wanted to prove.”
But many Serbs do not mourn Milosevic. “We didn’t like him at all,” said another man. “Whoever wants to go there and see him, that’s their problem.”
The death of Milosevic has brought deep divisions among Serbs to the surface again. His devotees will revere him as a national hero. Most, it seems, will remember him as the man who led their country to war, economic hardship and international isolation.