So the man known as “the Butcher of the Balkans” died in his bed and will receive a proper burial, two mundane privileges denied to victims of the ethnic cleansing he was accused of unleashing. He was 64.
Last night Milosevic’s lawyer said he feared he was being poisoned, although he produced no evidence. He called for a post-mortem to be held in Moscow.
Milosevic had apparently been dead for hours when a guard found his body. It appears he died of natural causes. A full autopsy, toxicological examination and a full inquiry have been ordered and Milosevic’s family has been informed. Milosevic was known to have been in poor health, suffering from high blood pressure.
His death comes less than a week after the star witness in his trial, former Croatian Serb leader Milan Babic, was found dead in the same prison. His testimony in 2002 described a political and military command structure headed by Milosevic in Belgrade that operated behind the scenes. Babic, who was serving a 13-year sentence, committed suicide.