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Minister Questions Autopsy on Milosevic

Published: March 14, 2006 (Issue # 1152)


MOSCOW Russia does not fully trust the autopsy on Slobodan Milosevic and wants to send its own doctors to examine the body, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Monday.

Milosevics son, meanwhile, said the family would consider asking for Milosevic to be interred temporarily in Moscow until a funeral could be held in Belgrade.

Lavrov also repeated Russias criticism of the UN war crimes tribunal for refusing last month to allow the former Yugoslav president to travel to Moscow for medical treatment.

Clearly stung by the rejection of Russias 100 percent state guarantee that Milosevic would return to finish his trial following treatment, Lavrov told reporters that Moscow was disturbed by the decision.

It cannot fail to alarm us that Milosevic died shortly afterward, he pointedly added.

Essentially, they didnt believe Russia, Lavrov said. In a situation where we werent believed, we also have the right not to believe and not to trust those who are conducting this autopsy.

Russia has asked the court to allow its experts to take part in the autopsy or at least acquaint themselves with its results, Lavrov said, adding that a team of medics was ready to fly urgently to The Hague.

The Interfax news agency quoted an unnamed Health Ministry official as saying a Russian team would leave for the Netherlands early Tuesday.

Milosevic died in his cell Saturday, the tribunal said. The body will be claimed by Milosevics son, Marko, on Monday or Tuesday, Milosevics lawyer, Zdenko Tomanovic, said.

Although authorities in Belgrade had issued an international arrest warrant for Marko Milosevic in 2003 for alleged abuse of power, the charges were later dropped.

Speaking in an interview with Russian state-run television, Marko Milosevic said he would appeal to authorities to consider allowing Milosevic to be interred in Moscow temporarily.

It depends on whether they will secure my familys safety, he said outside the Dutch Embassy in Moscow, where he received a visa to travel to The Hague to claim his fathers remains.

I have appealed, though unofficially since I just arrived here ... whether we can bury him in Moscow, at least temporarily, until there are conditions in Serbia when it will be possible to do everything as it should be, he said.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Aug. 21


Time is running out to see the fantastic creations on display at the 2014 Sand Castle Festival on the beach at the Peter and Paul Fortress. Adhering to the theme of Treasure Island, visitors can wander amongst larger-than-life interpretations of pirate life or attend one of the workshops held to educate a future generation of sand artists. The castles will remain on the beach until Aug. 31.



Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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