PoisonI don’t want to write much about the death of Milosevic here as plenty of valuable analysis has taken place elsewhere – it is clear to me that the man was evil, and sadly he will not face justice.

I do however want to comment on the rumours that have been circulating today about the allegations that Milosevic was poisoned in The Hague. This is the claim of his lawyer (see this and other quotes in this BBC article), and of greater concern is that no European leader has even attempted to quell the rumours of this story. The lead story on BBC as I write at 2030 CET on Sunday 12th March is that Milosevic feared poisioning. This – and a lack of rebuttal – seems quite odd, and possibly dangerous. It should in no way even be seen to be the case that Milosevic was indeed kept in anything but the very fairest of conditions at The Hague. On the other hand, what interest – if any – did anyone at The Hague have to kill him off anyway? Little interest I would imagine.

[UPDATE – Monday 13.03.06, 1100 GMT]
The theories of what happened to Milosevic are deepening – take this from BBC:

But one of the toxicologists involved in the testing said he thought Mr Milosevic had deliberately taken the wrong medicine.

Donald Uges told the Agence France-Presse news agency Mr Milosevic wanted a “one-way ticket to Moscow” for treatment.

Milosevic must have been one of the most likely people to commit suicide in jail. Many members of Milosevic’s family have committed suicide, and Milan Babic took his own life at The Hague about a week ago. Yet he was still able to administer his own drugs? Seems quite odd to me. Either if he was aiming to get himself to Moscow, or to kill himself, if this proves to be true very serious questions will be asked of the jail where he is staying.

[UPDATE – Monday 13.03.06, 1400 GMT]
Most of the interview with Donald Urges is available in this article from Bloomberg. Urges sees no reason why Milosevic would have been prescribed the drugs that he found traces of, meaning either he was being poisoned, or was trying to poison himself – I assume(?) The question still remains: how did he get hold of these drugs – normally used to treat TB and Malaria? Looks like quite an error on the part of the jail.

4 Comments

  1. Radostina

    I am far from this impression, Jon, I know you at least that much ­čÖé
    I was just feeling very angry and confused myself regarding this matter and wanted to add this to your comment.
    And once again…great blog!

  2. Yes, Radostina – I agree with all this. The whole process of bringing the old regime to justice has been so horribly fraught with difficulties.

    Please don’t gain the impression that I don’t care about those aspects – I do very much – but there has been such an official silence on the reasons for Milosevic’s death that I have concentrated on that here.

  3. Radostina

    I, as well, don’t believe that he was killed. And I do share your concerns, Jon, about the jail.
    However what struck me most was not the fact the Milosevic is dead [ (self)killed or not], not even the fact that justice has not been found. It’s sad but it’s neither the first nor the last case.
    What fills me with indignation is the fact that this person, even dead, manages to bring Serbia&MN into chaos. The details around his funeral and the fact whether his wife will be allowed to enter Serbia for it thretens to provoke just the next political crisis in Serbia&MN and bring the government into instability. How the hell is this possible? Whe do we allow a dead dictator to mess up with our lives?!It seems to me, we don’t know how to even read the history, let alone accept its verdicts…

  4. Daniela

    I personally very much doubt that they have killed him to be quite honest, but what I would like to comment about is the fact that many victims feel (quite rightly) that justice has not been served because of Milosevic’ untimely death.

    While this is certainly true in their regard, and whether divine retribution exists or not is a matter of opinion that cannot be proved or disproved, I read a phrase about him that kind of struck me. It was a headline of an article which stated that it is history that will judge Slobodan Milosevic. And I think that history has pretty much handed a guilty verdict … It’s kind of sad though, to be remembered after your death for being such an evil mad being!!

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