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U.N. Tribunal Partly Responsible for Milosevic's Death
Serbian president says in the interview with The Associated Press
The Associated Press (apwire)     Print Article 
Published 2006-03-14 10:47 (KST)   
Associated Press Writer
BELGRADE, Serbia-Montenegro

Serbian President Boris Tadic said Monday the U.N. war crimes tribunal's credibility was jeopardized by Slobodan Milosevic's death, but added that it would not hamper Serbia's future cooperation with the court.

"Undoubtedly, Milosevic had demanded a higher level of health care," Tadic said in an interview with The Associated Press. "That right should have been granted to all war crimes defendants."

Former Serbian President Milosevic died on Saturday of a heart attack in his prison cell near the tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands. He had recently demanded to be temporarily released to go to Moscow for treatment after years of suffering from heart problems and high blood pressure.

But the judges refused, ruling that even with Russian guarantees to send him back the court, they were afraid he would not return.

"Unfortunately, today we are getting messages from the tribunal that they are not responsible," Tadic said. "I think they are responsible for what happened."

Tadic, whose Democratic Party led a popular revolt that toppled Milosevic in 2000, said that despite "the lack of credibility" the tribunal has among Serbs, Serbia will try and hand over more war crimes suspects, including top fugitive Ratko Mladic.

Milosevic's death "won't jeopardize our cooperation with the tribunal."

Tadic also reiterated that he would not issue a pardon that would abolish an international arrest warrant for Milosevic's widow, Mirjana Markovic, if she planned to attend his funeral in Belgrade.

"I won't lift the responsibility off the person who is suspected of some very serious crimes in the past," Tadic said. He also said that holding a state funeral for Milosevic "would be highly inappropriate."

Markovic, considered the power behind the scenes during Milosevic's warmongering 1990s rule, has been charged here with the abuse of power during Milosevic's reign. Some other allegations link her directly to several murders of Milosevic's political opponents.

Tadic said he was certain that the Milosevic's death would not help his ultranationalist allies regain power in Serbia despite signs that they have rallied around the policies of their former leader.

"Today in Serbia we have a fight (for power) by those who ruled together with Milosevic," Tadic said, referring to the Radical Party ultranationalists and Milosevic's Socialists.

"But I'm absolutely confident that there will be no turning back on the political scene in Serbia," Tadic said. "Not even Milosevic's death will change Serbia's path toward democracy."
©2006 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter The Associated Press

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