|PRESS RELEASE OF THE
INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE TO DEFEND SLOBODAN
Subscribe to our newsletter at http://emperor.vwh.net/MailList/index.php
Receive articles from Emperor's Clothes Website
Send the link to
this text to a friend. If you're reading this in
email, please forward this article or the link to
OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE TO DEFEND SLOBODAN
[Posted 7 November 2002]
November 5th, the International
Committee to Defend Slobodan Milosevic (ICDSM),
the official support group for Slobodan
Milosevic, faxed a motion to the ICTY. Today
ICDSM Vice-Chairman Nico Varkevisser hand-delivered
the motion to the ICTY. The main text of the
motion is printed below. We have submitted this
motion because the ICTY's egregious mistreatment
of Mr. Milosevic has led to a health crisis that
threatens his life.
can be read in full and downloaded at http://emperor.vwh.net/icdsm/motion.htm
We will fax a
full copy to any reporter who requests it.
The main text
of the motion follows.
FOR URGENT SPECIALIZED MEDICAL ATTENTION AND
PROVISIONAL RELEASE FOR SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC
The ICDSM (International
Committee to Defend Slobodan Milosevic), a non-profit,
non-governmental organisation, seeks leave to
make submissions necessary for a proper
determination of the case, pursuant to article 74
of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the
has already afforded amicus curiae status to
outside counsel to assist it, stating that it has
done so as a result of President Milosevic's
written decision not to retain defence counsel,
and with the objective of ensuring a fair trial
as well as a proper determination of the case;
remaining amici appointed by the Chamber have not
adequately pursued the crucial issue of the
accused's serious medical condition, nor have
they secured the basic conditions and facilities
required for the preparation of his defence;
Milosevic is exercising his most fundamental
right to defend himself in person, yet his health
is threatened by the hectic trial schedule. He
has been exhausted attempting to attain the
"equality of arms" against a powerful
prosecution determined to adduce vast quantities
of documentation of all types, large portions of
which are not relevant to specific counts in the
indictments. On November 1st, 2002, Slobodan
Milosevic suffered an episode of a rapid rise in
blood pressure, due to his condition of malignant
hypertension, which has been exacerbated by long
days of hearings without appropriate rest, and
accumulated months of hearings.
seeks leave to request this Trial Chamber to
adjourn proceedings to provide Slobodan Milosevic
with the specialized health care he requires. He
should obtain this medical attention from
practitioners familiar with his condition, in
Belgrade. The ICDSM also requests that following
Slobodan Milosevic's complete convalescence the
Trial Chamber follow the medical recommendations
provided to it by its own appointed medical
practitioners. In addition, the ICDSM requests
that the Trial Chamber order the provisional
release of Slobodan Milosevic so that he may
properly exercise his right to the equality of
arms in the conditions and with the facilities
required under international law. The provisional
release requested would be for President
Milosevic, subject to any conditions and
guarantees deemed appropriate by the Trial
Chamber, to be permitted to prepare his trial in
a non-custodial residence in The Hague.
is suffering from two significant medical
conditions, malignant hypertension and angina
pectoris, which have been brought to the
Chamber's attention by a medical concilium having
examined him by order of the Chamber itself.
Malignant hypertension is aggravated by stress.
Untreated, the mortality rate is elevated: only
25% of patients survive one year.
has ordered that Mr Milosevic be examined. The
medical practitioners appointed accordingly
provided the judges with conclusions and
recommendations with respect to the deterioration
of Mr. Milosevic's state of health as a result of
the grueling trial schedule and exorbitant effort
that he is obliged to provide in order to mount
Chamber then stated that it would not adopt the
medical recommendations "literally",
but rather, " as far as the spirit is
concerned". In reality, however, the trial
schedule has remained generally long, hectic, and
exhausting for Slobodan Milosevic.
pressure on the defendant had recently increased.
Until the Chamber's announcement that Slobodan
Milosevic had complained of exhaustion, the
Chamber now frequently sat for full days, having
abandoned its previous practice, following Mr.
Milosevic's illness, of sitting for shorter half-day
sessions. Mr. Milosevic was spending his lunch
break in a basement with access to a sandwich for
nourishment. It would have been impossible to
argue that Slobodan Milosevic was receiving a
treatment in any way compatible to the "spirit"
of medical recommendations made to this Chamber.
of the medical recommendations made to the
Chamber, it is submitted, was to reduce the
stress and strain incurred by Mr. Milosevic as a
result of his overwhelming efforts to prepare and
face a trial of exceptional magnitude. To have
skirted the medical recommendations was to ignore
rather than adopt their "spirit", to
have continued hearings at the previous rhythm
threatened Slobodan Milosevic's life.
did not consider itself bound to adopt the
medical recommendations made with respect to a
potentially fatal medical condition, and the
inevitable occurred: Slobodan Milosevic was
pushed to the limit of exhaustion.
Milosevic has received over 100 000 pages of
documents and 600 video cassettes from the
Prosecutor as disclosure of evidence pursuant to
the relevant provisions of the Rules. Given the
massive disclosure of evidence received by Mr
Milosevic, he is now under more strain than he
was when the medical recommendations were made.
on several trial days, Mr. Milosevic has had to
choose between walking outside for fresh air or
eating a meal. Whatever option Slobodan Milosevic
chooses will be detrimental: he will attempt to
prepare his trial without having eaten, or he
will prepare it without a minimum of fresh air.
Either way his rights are violated. This
astonishing state of affairs presents a serious
threat to his health, and increases his level of
stress, which is a trigger of his heart condition.
has yet to receive specialized cardio-vascular
care, which he requires. The Freedom Association
has previously filed a medical report from Mr.
Milosevic's personal physician, Colonel Zdravko M.
Mijailovic, MD, PhD, who was allowed to observe
the examinations of the ICTY-appointed medical
practitioners. Dr Mijailovic stated that Mr.
Milosevic's condition of arterial hypertension
exponentially increased the "risk of fatal
incidents (brain stroke, acute myocardial infarct
(sic) , hear (sic) arrest,
Mijailovic further recommended a number a number
of specialized interventions and examinations to
attempt a stabilization of Mr. Milosevic's
Milosevic's trial and prison conditions remain
unchanged, there is a real likelihood of fatality.
Denial of medical care is a violation of the
International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights and may constitute torture. Hearings have
been suspended since November 1st 2002, so that
parties may provide recommendations to the
Chamber with respect to the continuation of the
amicus curiae status; GRANT an immediate
adjournment of the trial for medical examinations
and specialized treatment under the care and
supervision of President Milosevic's personal
physician, Colonel Zdravko M. Mijailovic, MD, PhD
in Belgrade and any other specialist chosen by
the defendant or his practitioner; AFFORD
Slobodan Milosevic with the specialized medical
care he requires; GRANT an additonal adjournment
for the complete recovery of the defendant under
medical supervision and care; APPLY, with
immediate effect, all medical recommendations
with respect to the trial schedule; GRANT
provisional release to the defendant, Slobodan
Milosevic, following his convalescence, subject
to such conditions or guarantees as may be deemed
appropriate; OR VARY the conditions of detention
of the accused, Slobodan Milosevic, following his
convalescence, to a non-custodial setting in The
Hague, with such security, conditions or
guarantees as deemed appropriate.
November 6 2002