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.
Milosevic’s 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 Russia’s 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 Russia’s “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 didn’t believe Russia,” Lavrov said. “In a situation where we weren’t 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 Milosevic’s son, Marko, on Monday or Tuesday, Milosevic’s 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 family’s safety,” he said outside the Dutch Embassy in Moscow, where he received a visa to travel to The Hague to claim his father’s 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. Pages: