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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 March 2006, 04:14 GMT
Serbia to allow Milosevic funeral
A supporter of former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic at a makeshift memorial in Belgrade
Mr Milosevic complained of inadequate medical treatment
Serbia says it does not object to ex-Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic's body being returned there for burial.

Serbian President Boris Tadic told the BBC it was up to Mr Milosevic's family to decide where they held his funeral.

His son Marko is due to collect the body on Tuesday in The Hague, where Mr Milosevic was being tried for alleged war crimes when he died last week.

His widow faces arrest on fraud charges if she returns to Serbia. She has asked that the warrant against her be lifted.

Mr Tadic told BBC News 24 that it was up to the courts to decide on proceedings against Mirjana - known as Mira - Markovic.

"If the Milosevic family is asking for some abolition [of the charges against Ms Markovic], I am not going to give them abolition, because of the role and responsibility of this family in the recent past," he said.

Marko Milosevic is expected to travel to The Hague from Russia. He will reportedly be accompanied by four Russian doctors, after Russia said it did not trust a preliminary autopsy report.

'Wrong drugs'

Mr Milosevic died of a heart attack in his cell.

Full test results are awaited, but a toxicologist who found traces of drugs in Mr Milosevic's blood before his death said they may have neutralised treatment for his heart conditions.

Dutch expert Donald Uges said he found rifampicin, a powerful antibiotic used to treat leprosy or tuberculosis.

His body should be cremated in secret, with no ceremony or family members allowed to attend
Richard Hopkins, Newport, UK

Mr Uges added that he believed Mr Milosevic took the drugs himself to try to prove his medical care in The Netherlands was inadequate and secure a "one-way ticket to Moscow".

The presence of rifampicin or other drugs has not yet been confirmed by the post-mortem toxicological tests, the results of which have still to be released.

However, the comments have raised questions over what caused Mr Milosevic's heart attack.

Before his death, Mr Milosevic alleged in a letter that he was being poisoned. A request to travel for medical treatment to Russia, where his wife and son live, was turned down.

The international war crimes tribunal said Mr Milosevic received competent medical supervision.

'Credibility problem'

Mr Tadic on Monday blamed the tribunal for Mr Milosevic's death, saying the former leader should have been given a "higher level of health care".

Speaking to the BBC, the president later said Mr Milosevic's death and the recent suicide at the jail of a Croatian Serb war crimes suspect had damaged the court's credibility.

295 witnesses testified
5,000 exhibits presented in court
466 days of hearings

However, he pledged to continue to support the tribunal's work.

"I have to say that we are going to co-operate with the Hague Tribunal. This is part of our responsibility, and this is extremely important regarding values, in my country and in the region," he said.

Mr Milosevic was charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity for his alleged central role in the wars in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo during the 1990s.

He also faced genocide charges over the 1992-95 Bosnia war, in which 100,000 people died.

Watch an interview with Serbian President Boris Tadic


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