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Hague Judges Close Milosevic Case


Judges at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal have formally closed the case against Slobodan Milosevic, as funeral arrangements for the former president remain unclear. Milosevic's son is expected soon to collect his father's body.

It took judges less than three minutes to close the four-year, $200 million trial of Slobodan Milosevic. Calling the proceedings long and difficult, presiding Judge Patrick Robinson said he regrets Slobodan Milosevic's passing.

"We express our regret at his passing. We also regret that his untimely death has deprived not only him, but indeed all interested parties, of a judgment upon the allegations in the indictment. His death terminates these proceedings," the judge said.

Milosevic's son, Marko, wants to bring his father home to Belgrade for burial. But it is unclear if his father will end up there or possibly in Moscow, where Milosevic's wife, Mira, is living in exile. Russian doctors are traveling with Marko Milosevic. They want to do their own autopsy of the former president. But whether they will be allowed to do so is also unclear.

The preliminary results of the Dutch autopsy say Milosevic died of a heart attack. Results of a toxicology report are also expected soon. Tribunal officials are hoping it will put to rest what they call the ludicrous charge that Milosevic was poisoned in prison.

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