Drug Diluted Milosevic's Prescriptions
THE HAGUE, Netherlands Mar 13, 2006 (AP)— A Dutch toxicologist said Monday that Slobodan Milosevic was taking antibiotics that diluted prescriptions for heart ailments and high blood pressure while he was pleading with a U.N. tribunal for permission to get treatment in Russia.
Donald Uges said he found traces of rifampicin, an antituberculosis drug, in Milosevic's system earlier this year after the former Yugoslav leader did not respond to blood pressure medication given at the U.N. detention center.
Rifampicin "makes the liver extremely active," possibly hindering the effectiveness of other medications.
"If you're taking something, it breaks down very quickly," Uges said.
Also Monday, Serbian President Boris Tadic said the U.N. war crimes tribunal is responsible for Milosevic's death, but he 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."
He added, "I think they are responsible for what happened."
Milosevic, 64, was found dead in his jail cell Saturday morning of an apparent heart attack. Hours earlier, he wrote an accusatory letter alleging that a "heavy drug" had been found in his bloodstream during a medical exam.
His ailments caused numerous delays in his four-year trial for orchestrating a decade of conflict that killed 250,000 people and tore the Yugoslav federation asunder. No verdict will be issued.
Uges suggested Milosevic may have taken the unprescribed medicine in a bid to be released from jail and get medical attention in Russia by portraying his Dutch doctors as unable to treat his condition.
"First he wasn't taking his medicine. Then he was forced to take it under supervision and his blood pressure still didn't come down. So his camp said: 'You see, these Dutch doctors don't know how to treat him and he should go to Russia,'" Uges said.
Milosevic's widow, Mirjana Markovic, and their son, Marko, live in Russia.