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Tribunal Expected To Release Milosevic Body To Family

March 13, 2006 -- The United Nations war crimes tribunal is expected today to release Slobodan Milosevic's body to his family, but it remains unclear where the former Yugoslav president will be buried or cremated.

Serbian President Boris Tadic has said Milosevic, who was on trial at The Hague for war crimes and genocide in the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s, will not be given a state funeral. Milosevic's widow, Mirjana Markovic, has been living in Russia and faces arrest if she returned to Serbia.

The UN tribunal late on March 12 said preliminary autopsy results showed that the 64-year-old Milosevic died from a heart attack suffered in his jail cell on March 11.

Tribunal spokeswoman Alexandra Milenov said, however, that poisoning could not yet be ruled out as a possible contributing factor in the death, and that toxicology tests would be carried out.

"According to the pathologists, Slobodan Milosevic's cause of death was a myocardial infarction," Milenov said. "Further, the pathologists identified two heart conditions that Slobodan Milosevic suffered from, which they said would explain the myocardial infarction. The prosecution service of The Hague informed the registrar that a toxicological examination will still be carried out."

Serbian experts who attended the autopsy said the procedure was carried out very professionally by Dutch pathologists.

(RFE/RL 13.iii.06)

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