Ivo Skoric on Sat, 27 Jul 2002 00:58:53 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Re: Milosevic Ill; Genocide Trial Is Cast in Doubt

Every succesful Balkan male over 40 suffers from high blood 
pressure and some sort of a heart problem, including my dad and, 
evidently, Slobodan Milosevic. I believe that high collesterol levels 
were assumed to be a status symbol in former Yugoslavia, and 
that men clogged their arteries with lard in an attempt to raise their 
sex appeal gently growing their beer/wine bellies as a sign of 
prestige. Also, it is expected from a man to have short temper, 
which again, contributes to the risk of heart disease. And they are 
stubborn: they'd rather die than give up their habit.

Seriously. Doctors told my dad that he was at risk of heart attack 
20 years ago and that he should change diet, give up alcohol, live 
less stressfully. He did not change anything, and he still lives and 
he is still at risk of heart attack, and fortunately he is on the good 
side of statistics (his diastolic pressure hasn't been under 100 for 
the past 20 years). If Milosevic is of the same stock, he may live 
longer than all the judges at ICTY despite whiskey, roasted lamb 
and Cuban cigars.

I didn't know that roasted lamb was Slobo's favorite dish. But I 
should have expected. After all, in every culture status is 
connected with a certain way of life, certain clothes, certain foods, 
drinks, sports, etc. Like here in the US, rich and socially 
upscalish, play golf - in former Yugoslavia they played tennis (note 
that Tudjman was an avid tennis player). What do they eat here? 
Lobster? I guess, there are too many options in the U.S. In former 
Yugoslavia there was roasted lamb.

Roasted lamb unites all post-Yugoslav countries: it is devoured by 
upstanding Serbs, Croats and Bosnian Muslims alike. Croats and 
Serbs also eat roasted pork, but the status of pork is clearly below 
lamb (and that is also reflected in price). Roasted lamb is also my 
father's favorite dish. I ate so much roasted lamb when I was a kid 
that I am now sick even thinking of it. If anyone is interested, I can 
give you a list of top restaurants in Zagreb, where you can get the 
best roasted lamb (also the best time to go is March...), and the 
mention of the last name that I share with my dad, will make head 
waiters be very responsive to you.

Lamb also needs to be bathed in copious quantities of white whine 
(my dad's favorite: Grasevina from Kutjevo wineries). All in all I 
remember my old man being able to eat a pound of lamb and drink 
a quart of 'grasevina' - of course, that main dish was always 
preceded with cevapcici and other (meat again) smaller dishes, 
while we waited for the lamb to roast. Dishes without meat in 
former Yugoslavia were not considered meals. I doubt Milosevic will 
die. But maybe ICTY can enforce a healthier diet on him, that 
doctors in Zagreb can't do with my dad.


ps - on Holbroke's drink: pear brandy is higher up on status ladder 
than plum brandy; every schmuck drinks plum brandy; of course 
Milosevic got his US friend drunk on the best available brandy 
date sent:      	Fri, 26 Jul 2002 10:12:55 -0400
send reply to:  	Thomas Keenan <keenan@bard.edu>
from:           	Thomas Keenan <keenan@bard.edu>
subject:        	Milosevic Ill; Genocide Trial Is Cast in Doubt

Cross-posting of commentary only permitted

Reports from the New York Times, Washington Post, and BBC on Milosevic's
health. Marlise Simons in the Times suggests, not (as the headline puts
it)  that the trial is 'in doubt,' but that the medical findings are
"almost certain to change the pace and the shape of his war crimes trial."

        The witnesses from Mr. Milosevic's government have been a boon for
        the prosecution, with policemen and soldiers who were on active
        duty during the war giving sometimes shocking details about
        atrocities against ethnic Albanians.

        But the mood among prosecutors and observers anxious to see Mr.
        Milosevic brought to justice has been far from upbeat.  Rather,
        the confirmation of Mr. Milosevic's ill health has caused alarm.
        While it is not being said out loud, there is deep concern among
        court officials about the repercussions if Mr. Milosevic could no
        longer appear in court or suffered a heart attack.

For amusement, I have also included the BBC's special report on
Millosevic's eating and drinking habits, "Milosevic the bon viveur."

Thomas Keenan
Human Rights Project
Bard College


Copyright 2002 The New York Times Company
Friday, July 26, 2002; A1

Milosevic Ill; Genocide Trial Is Cast in Doubt

THE HAGUE, July 25 - The former Yugoslav president, Slobodan Milosevic,
suffers from severe heart disease and dangerously high blood pressure, and
needs medical treatment and less work in court, the United Nations war
crimes tribunal announced today.

The finding that Mr. Milosevic runs a serious risk of a heart attack is
almost certain to change the pace and the shape of his war crimes trial,
the most important such prosecution since Nazi and Japanese commanders
were tried after World War II. The trial opened five months ago and, even
at the current rate, could last three years.

Mr. Milosevic, who is 60, is conducting his own defense in the
proceedings, which began with charges involving the war he waged against
Kosovo Albanians in 1998 and 1999. He is charged with genocide committed
during the war in Bosnia, and it now seems it could be many months before
he answers that accusation.

During his 13 years in power, Mr. Milosevic led the Serbs through four
wars - in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo - that killed more than
200,000 people and drove more than a million from their homes.

The report of serious health problems came as the trial entered a
fascinating new phase, with key members of the former Milosevic government
- including the chief of the secret police - testifying about the inner
workings of the secretive regime as it repressed Albanians in Kosovo in
1998 and 1999.

Trial judges had ordered a thorough medical checkup of Mr.  Milosevic
after he fell ill for the second time in June.  They suspended proceedings
for a third time a week ago, when Mr. Milosevic's already high blood
pressure rose sharply.

The presiding judge, Richard May, said today that the medical report
described Mr. Milosevic "as a man with severe cardiovascular risk which
demands careful future monitoring." He said it recommended treatment by a
heart specialist and a reduction in Mr. Milosevic's workload.  Judge May
said the court was ordering such treatment and would then decide how to

Today Mr. Milosevic's former secret police chief, Rade Markovic, appeared
as a witness for the prosecution. Mr.  Markovic was transferred here from
his prison cell in Belgrade, where he is being held on charges of
murdering political opponents, and he is seen as a close Milosevic ally
who may shed light on how atrocities in Kosovo were covered up.

Mr. Markovic, who ran the secret police for the last two years of Mr.
Milosevic's rule, told the court that Interior Ministry and military
officials reported in detail to Mr.  Milosevic each day on their

The witnesses from Mr. Milosevic's government have been a boon for the
prosecution, with policemen and soldiers who were on active duty during
the war giving sometimes shocking details about atrocities against ethnic

But the mood among prosecutors and observers anxious to see Mr. Milosevic
brought to justice has been far from upbeat.  Rather, the confirmation of
Mr. Milosevic's ill health has caused alarm. While it is not being said
out loud, there is deep concern among court officials about the
repercussions if Mr. Milosevic could no longer appear in court or suffered
a heart attack.

Lawyers who work with Mr. Milosevic said his heart condition is not new.
He has been hospitalized in Yugoslavia in the past for heart trouble and
he was also taking medicine for high blood pressure while in detention in
Belgrade before his arrival in The Hague just over a year ago, the lawyers

"In Belgrade and here, he always says he is fine," said one lawyer, Zdenko
Tomanovic, who sees Mr. Milosevic almost every day. "He takes medicine but
he never complains and never wants extra care."

The medical report ordered by the court was prepared by two Dutch doctors
from outside the prison who examined Mr.  Milosevic. A Serbian
cardiologist from the Military Medical Academy in Belgrade who had treated
Mr. Milosevic before and who had come to The Hague at his request was
present during the examination.

At today's hearing, the judges did not disclose any details from the
report, but a lawyer who had seen it said Mr.  Milosevic has a severe
problem in his left artery and damage to the heart.

"This, together with the high blood pressure, puts him at high risk for a
heart attack," the lawyer said, referring to the report. He said the
doctors felt that the physical stress of the Yugoslav's illness and the
stress of the trial have depressed his immune system, which has made him
more prone to infections. Mr. Milosevic has had two long bouts of flu with
high fever this year.

Mr. Milosevic's systolic blood pressure is about 200, though last week it
suddenly rose above 240 and hearings were suspended for two days, the
lawyer said. A reading of 140 to 160 would be normal.

The task he has undertaken, conducting his own defense, is enormous by any
standards. He has insisted on cross-examining every witness, and there
have been 100 so far.

Mr. Milosevic, who often looks unwell, interrogates witnesses longer than
the prosecution. During a hearing today, the chief prosecutor, Geoffrey
Nice, said that since the beginning of the trial, prosecutors had held the
floor in court for 93 hours and Mr. Milosevic for 140 hours.

The two lawyers from Belgrade who assist him say he often spends his
evenings preparing questions. To prepare for the next portion of the
trial, dealing with the wars in Croatia and Bosnia, he recently received
90,000 pages and 500 videocassettes. "I will need 360 days just to read
this once," he said today in court.

Prosecutors today suggested that the court impose a lawyer on Mr.
Milosevic to reduce his workload. Judge Patrick Robinson proposed a
compromise: that the Serb share the cross-examinations with a lawyer
without losing his right to defend himself.

"That would allow you some rest," the judge said. "It's a bit unusual but
it has happened in some places."

Mr. Milosevic said he would hold on to every opportunity to "speak the

"I do not recognize this court and I have no intention of appointing a
counsel for a nonexisting court," he said.

"As for my health," he went on, "I never asked in these months for a
single break. The fact that you ordered a medical examination and now you
have a report, that's your problem. You should not harbor any illusion
that I'm asking for anything."

Judge Robinson responded: "Your health is of paramount concern to the
chamber. The overriding concern for me is your health."



Copyright 2002 The Washington Post Company
Friday, July 26, 2002; Page A30

Milosevic Gets Health Warning
By Keith B. Richburg
Washington Post Foreign Service

PARIS, July 25 -- Judges in the war crimes trial of Slobodan Milosevic in
The Hague said today that the former Yugoslav president is at serious risk
of a heart attack if he continues to insist on acting as his own attorney
and spend hours in heated cross-examinations of witnesses.

The three-judge panel, revealing the results of medical tests conducted
last month on Milosevic, 60, recommended that he appoint an assistant to
help him in the complex case, and suggested that if he resisted, the panel
would impose "measures" to protect his health and reduce his workload.

Milosevic rejected the idea of an assistant. "I have never demanded any
medical checkup, not even when I suffered a high fever," he said, firing
back angrily at the judges. "You should not harbor any illusion that I am
asking for anything."

The trial has already been suspended three times, as Milosevic has
grappled with flu and high blood pressure.

Some prosecutors and court watchers have said they thought he was
bluffing, but today the judges disagreed. "Milosevic is a man with serious
cardiovascular risk which requires future monitoring," said the presiding
judge, Richard May.

"His workload must be reduced and the medical treatment by a cardiologist
is most advisable," May said. He said the court would await further tests
and "consider any option that may be available for the future conduct of
the trial."

Neither he nor the other judge who spoke, Patrick Robinson, said what
those other options might be. But court watchers said the options might
include appointing a defense lawyer to represent Milosevic even against
his wishes; legal analysts said the judges might have concluded that he is
currently not getting a proper defense, which could lead to a conviction
being overturned on appeal.

Milosevic maintained the same defiance today that he has shown throughout
the lengthy trial, which began early this year and has heard testimony
about abuses committed against ethnic Albanians by Serbian security forces
in Kosovo, a province of Serbia, the dominant republic of Yugoslavia, in
1998 and 1999.

The trial is scheduled to wrap up next year, after shifting in October to
cover war crimes -- including genocide -- allegedly committed in Bosnia
and Croatia during the violent breakup of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s.

Milosevic has complained that he did not have adequate time to prepare his
defense. He spends each night in his cell alone poring over voluminous
prosecution documents and outlining his cross-examinations.

On the upcoming Bosnian and Croatian indictments against him, he said he
was given 90,000 pages of documents to read and 500 cassette tapes to
listen to.

Prosecutors have long protested Milosevic's strategy of representing
himself, believing that he is deliberately delaying the presentation of
their complex case by engaging in lengthy cross-examinations that sound
more like political speeches.

Also, without a cooperative attorney on the opposite side, the prosecutors
have no counterpart to meet with regularly to decide, for example, which
undisputed points can be agreed to beforehand, and which witnesses can be
allowed to submit written testimony.

Even while he takes part energetically in the proceedings, Milosevic
declares that he does not recognize the legitimacy of the U.N. court,
calling it a tool of the NATO alliance victors who bombed Yugoslavia in

Responding to May's suggestion today that he take on an assistant counsel
to help with cross-examination, Milosevic said: "You are an honorable man.
[But] this entire matter is a farce. I have no intention of appointing
counsel for a nonexistent court."


Copyright MMII BBC News


Thursday, 25 July, 2002, 15:02 GMT 16:02 UK

'Heart risk' Milosevic told to rest

A full health check on former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic has
found he is at serious risk of a heart attack and will need to rest.

"The medical report describes the accused as a man with severe
cardiovascular risks," presiding judge Richard May, told the international
war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

Mr Milosevic faces more than 60 counts of war crimes, genocide and crimes
against humanity relating to the wars which broke up the former Yugoslavia
in the 1990s.

The prosecution's top insider witness, former Serbian secret service chief
Rade Markovic, told the tribunal on Thursday that Mr Milosevic had known
of alleged atrocities by the Yugoslav police and army in Kosovo.

He said Mr Milosevic had been the effective boss of state security
operations against the ethnic Albanian population in Kosovo during the
1998-1999 war which led to Nato intervention.

Mr Milosevic, 60, is due to cross-examine Mr Markovic on Friday.

Health problems

The former Yugoslav leader has suffered at least two bouts of flu since
his trial started in February, causing proceedings to be delayed by a

However, he has conducted a robust defence, and never looked frail.

In April last year, he was rushed to hospital with chest pains, but was
subsequently given a clean bill of health.

Last week he was temporarily unable to attend hearings because of high
blood pressure.

Experts recommend his workload be reduced, and further tests are to be
carried out on him by a cardiologist, the court's spokesman Jim Langdale
told BBC News Online.

The court will then consider all options open to it before deciding what
action to take.

One of the three trial judges, Patrick Robinson, urged Mr Milosevic to
appoint a defence lawyer, saying: "Your health is of paramount concern to
the chamber."

But Mr Milosevic - who says he does not recognise the tribunal - stuck to
his earlier refusals to be legally represented, replying: "This entire
matter is a farce. I have no intention of appointing counsels for a
non-existent court."

Prosecutors suggested imposing a defence counsel on Mr Milosevic.

One judge has suggested a compromise - that Mr Milosevic may be allowed to
cross-examine witnesses with his lawyer.

The crucial link

The BBC's Geraldine Coughlan, at The Hague, says there is a strong
possibility that after the summer recess, Mr Milosevic will no longer be
wholly responsible for his own defence.

Thursday's hearing gave the prosecution until 13 September to finish its
case against Mr Milosevic concerning events in Kosovo, and until 16 May
2003 to finish the cases relating to Bosnia and Croatia.

The tribunal starts a four-week summer recess this weekend.

Mr Markovic, who was brought from a Belgrade jail to testify at the
tribunal, said the interior ministry had submitted daily secret reports on
the Kosovo situation to Mr Milosevic and other Serbian Government members.

"Vlajko Stojiljkovic [the former interior minister] was duty-bound to
inform Slobodan Milosevic daily on the activities of the interior
ministry," he told the court.

He said Mr Milosevic had also been briefed daily on army activities.

Stojiljkovic committed suicide in Belgrade in April.

Mr Markovic is the first witness to testify that Mr Milosevic had
effectively been the centre of power in Belgrade - a key point the
prosecution has to prove for the former leader to be convicted.

Mr Markovic himself is being questioned in Serbia on charges of alleged
involvement in the assassination of Mr Milosevic's opponents when he was
head of the Serbian state security service.


Thursday, 25 July, 2002, 16:48 GMT 17:48 UK
Milosevic the bon viveur

The news that former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic is in danger of a
heart attack comes as no surprise to veteran Balkans watchers.

He may now observe the strict regime of a prison inmate, but when in power
he was well known as a bon viveur who enjoyed his food and drink.

His principal vices were a weakness for scotch whisky and fine Cuban

He also enjoyed a rich diet of roasted lamb, being especially fond of a
traditional Yugoslav barbecue.

At Mr Milosevic's Belgrade residence, filled with antique furniture and
French paintings, he would greet visitors with whisky glass and cigar in

Foreign dignitaries and journalists alike were invited to join him in late
night drinking sessions where he would drink copious amounts of whisky -
reportedly with little effect - puff away on a Montecristo and indulge in
telling dirty jokes.

During one mid-morning meeting with US negotiator Richard Holbrooke, Mr
Milosevic plied the American with brandy whilst hammering out a deal on

When someone later objected that he had got Mr Holbrooke "drunk on plum
brandy" Mr Milosevic replied: "No, I did not get him drunk on plum brandy.
I got him drunk on pear brandy."

Mr Milosevic also enjoyed wine, especially Californian varieties.

There are reports that sometimes Mr Milosevic would turn up to important
negotiations a little the worse for wear.

One former US ambassador to Croatia - Peter Galbraith - remembers the
first day of the 1995 peace talks in Dayton, Ohio, when Mr Milosevic was
due to attend a meeting with Warren Christopher, the then US Secretary of
State, and Croatian President Franjo Tudjman at 1600 (1400 GMT).

He arrived at 1635 looking somewhat ruffled, tie skew-whiff, straight from
an afternoon at the officers' club.

"He'd obviously had a liquid lunch," Mr Galbraith said in an interview
with Newsweek.

Even when police surrounded his home in the early hours of 1 April 2001 to
arrest him, witnesses holed up inside said he lay on a sofa, dosed up on
whisky and tranquilisers, smoking a cigar and cradling his pistol.

Another constant presence was the roast lamb.

Former US Assistant Deputy Secretary of State Robert Frasure had frequent
meetings with Mr Milosevic in which he was plied with so much of the stuff
that he once cabled Washington with the message, "the lambs of Serbia will
be delighted that I'm leaving!"

The rotund Mr Milosevic is not known for being fond exercise either,
unlike his late Croatian counterpart who was known for his vicious tennis

In fact, many observers argue that now he is in prison Mr Milosevic is in
fact healthier than he has ever been.

He has access to a coffee machine, a library and satellite TV and can go
to a gym, walk in the courtyard or play board games with his fellow

Nonetheless as his trial goes on, correspondents say it is apparent the
strain of long hours in court and evenings spent preparing are taking
their toll on Mr Milosevic, who is defending himself.

But old habits die hard: "He is a politician - he wants to do the
talking," one of his Belgrade lawyers said.


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