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ICTY: 'no indications' Milosevic poisoned

[JURIST] Judge Fausto Pocar, president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia [official website], released updated results Friday from the autopsy [JURIST report] on Slobodan Milosevic [JURIST news archive] indicating that toxicological tests undertaken by Dutch investigators showed "no indications" of poisoning, contrary to a claim allegedly made by the indicted ex-Yugoslav president before his sudden death Saturday. While stressing that the results were still provisional and that the examination would continue next week, the Hague District Public Prosecutor's Office said [letter] that in particular it had found no traces of rifampicine, a drug used to treat TB that could have counteracted Milosevic's heart medications. The office noted, however, that the drug does not persist long in the body; earlier this week a Dutch toxicologist said that blood tests he performed on Milosevic several weeks ago while he was still alive showed the presence of the drug [JURIST report].

Pocar also announced Friday that in the face of what he called "media speculation with regard to the running of the UN Detention Unit" where Milosevic was housed, he was ordering another audit of the facility, although he expressed "full confidence" in its staff, noting that previous independent inspections had shown that "conditions in the Detention Unit are of the very highest standard."

Reiterating the Tribinal's regret that Milosevic could not be brought to judgment, Pocar insisted that the Tribunal still had significant work to do:

We recognize that this case was an important one. However, it is not the only important case that the Tribunal’s judges have before them. We continue to try the highest-level persons accused of perpetrating the most serious crimes against Serb, Croat, Bosnian Muslim, Albanian and other victims in the former Yugoslavia. In closing, I would like to emphasize that the Tribunal remains absolutely committed to fulfilling its critical mandate to render justice in these cases as fairly and expeditiously as possible.
Read the full text of Pocar's statement. Milosevic is scheduled for burial in his home town of Pozarevac, in eastern Serbia, on Saturday.

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