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UN tribunal says Milosevic not poisoned

Written by: Staff
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THE HAGUE, Mar 17 (Reuters) The UN war crimes tribunal said today that preliminary results of blood tests showed no indication Slobodan Milosevic's death by heart attack was caused by poisoning.

''So far no indications of poisoning have been found,'' Judge Fausto Pocar, president of the UN war crimes tribunal, told a news conference. ''I would like to stress that these are provisional results.'' Tribunal registrar Hans Holthuis confirmed that traces of rifampicin -- a leprosy and tuberculosis drug that would have neutralised Milosevic's medicines for his high blood pressure and heart condition -- was found in an earlier January. 12 blood test.

But Pocar said no traces of the drug were found at the time of Milosevic's death.

''So far no traces of rifampicin were found,'' Pocar said, adding it was unlikely that rifampicin had been ingested or administered in the last few days before Milosevic's death.

The former Yugoslav president, who suffered from a heart condition and high blood pressure, was found dead in his cell on Saturday, just months before an expected verdict in his war crimes trial.

A preliminary autopsy report said the cause of death was a heart attack.

REUTERS DKS PM1728

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