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Russia seeks UN briefing on Hague jail conditions prior to Milosevic death

[JURIST] Russian diplomat Konstantin Dolgov has requested a UN briefing on conditions in UN detention facilities following the recent deaths of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic [JURIST news archive] and Croatian Serb Milan Babic [JURIST report]. Dolgov also asked Tuesday for information from UN officials on the state of an investigation into both deaths. Earlier this week, the court-appointed advocates for the late Milosevic asked the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia [official website] to release secret medical files that may provide further information on Milosevic's death. Judge Fausto Pocar, head of the ICTY, recently ordered an audit [JURIST report] of the facility that housed Milosevic due to "media speculation with regard to the running of the UN Detention Unit," though he noted that previous independent inspections had shown that "conditions in the Detention Unit are of the very highest standard." The UN Security Council [official website] meets on the issue again on Thursday and it seems likely the council will ask for the requested briefing from the UN secretariat in New York. Reuters has more.

Meanwhile, an aide to ICTY chief prosecutor Carla del Ponte [official profile] said Wednesday that del Ponte will travel to Serbia next week to seek reassurance from the Serbian government that Milosevic's death will not interfere with Belgrade's cooperation with the ICTY. Del Ponte has repeatedly called for cooperation from Serbia [JURIST report] in locating top war crimes fugitives and late last month, the European Union threatened to suspend membership negotiations [JURIST report] with Serbia if there was not full cooperation in apprehending war crimes fugitive Ratko Mladic [ICTY case backgrounder; BBC profile]. Reuters has more.

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