Robin de Ruiter: Who Killed Slobodan Milošević and Why
Sudden suspicious death of former Yugoslav and Serbian President Slobodan Milošević in Hague Tribunal’s detention cell continues to raise questions among the researchers and independent media six years later.
Robin de Ruiter, Dutch publicist and historian raised in Spain, wrote a fascinating book (soon to be published in Serbia, but still not available in English), which doesn’t question whether former Serbia’s president was killed in The Hague, but focuses on the parties responsible for commissioning and committing this crime.
Brutal Demonization Ending in Premeditated Murder
De Ruiter uses verifiable facts to dismantle Western mainstream myth about the “butcher of Balkans”, and examines reasons behind the brutal propaganda demonization aimed at turning former Serbian president into a monster, along with the entire Serbian nation.
Using a simple method of piecing together the portrait of an actual person and historical facts behind the grotesque caricatures created in the West, the author presents strong evidence for the main reason why NATO and Washington-led Western powers wanted Milošević silenced for good.
Contrary to the common mainstream claims and the basic premises of Hague prosecution’s indictment, “Milošević’s political goal was to preserve Kosovo within Serbia’s borders and to prevent Albanian majority to drive Serbian minority out of Kosovo. There was no incitement of nationalist hatred, nor has the ethnic cleansing been carried out. On the contrary, Milošević and Socialist Party members always stressed the advantages of multiethnicity for Serbia”, Robin de Ruiter writes.
The author, who felt obligated to write this book “for the sake of truth”, cites a number of legal experts, historians and independent investigative reporters who have helped him in a thorough research while piecing together presented material.
An Aspirin a Day Keeps the Doctor Away
On March 11, 2006, at 10 AM, 65-year-old Milošević was found dead in his detention cell located in the Scheveningen section of The Hague, Netherlands, while his trial for the alleged war crimes was in full swing, with Defense presenting evidence. According to the Dutch forensics, the cause of death was cardiac arrest. In addition to the autopsy, a toxicology analysis was requested.
According to the Hague officials, Milošević’s health which started to deteriorate abruptly and progressively when the trial began, was under constant supervision of the “highly qualified medical personnel”. The author points, however, that no one mentioned the fact only a single GP and one nurse were the whole team that comprised Hague detention center’s ‘highly qualified medical personnel’.
De Ruiter also reveals that the entire ‘therapy’ Milošević has been receiving during the first year of detention consisted of a single aspirin a day, despite the fact he was known to suffer from heart problems and high blood pressure.
Milošević’s lawyer Zdenko Tomanović claimed back then his client’s health is being systematically eroded.
When President Milošević died, Russian specialist Dr. Leo Bokeria, of the famous Bakulev Institute revealed to the media:
“During the past three years we have constantly insisted, without success, that Milošević needs to be sent to a hospital to be properly diagnosed. If Milošević was allowed access to any specialist clinic, he would have been given a proper treatment and would have lived many more years.”
Early on, in May 2003, group of thirteen German doctors addressed tribunal in writing, expressing their concern for Milošević’s health and lack of proper treatment. But all suggestions by medical specialists were discarded and the adequate therapy remained unavailable. Moreover, there was no response to this and further written protests by the same group of doctors.
Unknown Medications in Milošević’s Blood
A year after a miraculous aspirin-a-day treatment for a range of cardiovascular ailments, a group of medical doctors hand-picked by the tribunal bureaucrats issued the following diagnosis: secondary damage to various organs and extremely high blood pressure which, under certain conditions, could lead to stroke, coronary or cardiac arrest and premature death.
In contradiction to this finding, Hague Chief Prosecutor Carla del Ponte seemed to have known better and claimed Milošević “feels exceptionally well”.
Medical analysis in 2005 showed the presence of “unknown” chemical substances in Milošević’s bloodstream which are nullifying effects of medications for high blood pressure. Because of this finding, Milošević requested to be treated by the Russian specialists.
Even though the Russian Government on 18 January 2006 offered guarantees Milošević will be placed at tribunal’s disposal after the treatment, Milošević’s request was denied in February. Few weeks after it was already too late – Milošević suffered announced and expected fatal heart attack.
Among others, De Ruiter cites the conclusion of Dutch magazine Targets: “The very fact that judges [Robinson, Kwon and Bonomy] refused to comply with his request for treatment at this instance is sufficient cause to bring charges against the Tribunal for premeditated murder.”
Additional suspicions were raised by the fact that Milošević family’s repeated requests for an independent autopsy outside of Netherlands were denied and ignored.
Robin de Ruiter also cites statement by Hikeline Verine Stewart (sp?) of Amnesty International, who stressed Milošević’s untimely death was a direct consequence of the contraindicated medications found in his blood. “We are certain that is the cause of death. Death by natural causes is absolutely out of the question”, she said.
Potatoes Mashed with Rifampicin
The author examines a number of speculations about the prolonged poisoning of the former president in Scheveningen detention center and concludes they are far from being unfounded.
In 2002 it turned out Milošević was being given wrong medications which were raising his already high blood pressure. De Ruiter cites Dutch newspaper NRC Hadelsblad from 23 November 2002:
“Slobodan Milošević was being given wrong medications in Scheveningen detention, which raised his blood pressure. This was the reason the trial to a former Yugoslav president had to be paused at the start of November. One of Tribunal’s commentators claimed this was not an error. He refused all further comments.”
One piece of evidence showing that Milošević was probably being poisoned during his trial was an incident from the end of August 2004, when Scheveningen staff got very alarmed after discovering another detainee received Milošević’s supper.
In September 2004, during the trial, Milošević mentioned this incident:
“For three years doctors here regard me as healthy and capable of conducting my own defense. And then something really strange took place: all of a sudden some ‘independent’ doctor showed up from Belgium, country where NATO Headquarters is situated, announcing my health isn’t good enough for me to continue my own defense. And all the doctors here are suddenly in unanimous agreement over this […]
“Feel free to reach your own conclusions, but please keep in mind I’m using medications your doctors have prescribed. I’m not quite sure what is going on here, but I could call on the entire detention staff to testify what took place when I was given a meal prepared for a person on the opposite side of the corridor. There was a major uproar to get me the food which was prepared for me in particular, even though all the meals appear exactly the same. I didn’t make a problem out of this, I had no idea what is happening. But I do have certain hypothesis which may be justified or not, but there is clear evidence…”
At that point, Judge Robinson silenced Milošević by turning his microphone off. This alarming incident was never discussed or investigated.
Meanwhile, Milošević’s health continued to rapidly deteriorate on a daily basis. He reported suffering daily from terrible pressure behind the eyes and in the ears.
Former Canadian Ambassador James Bissett testified after visiting Serbian president in Scheveningen that Milošević suddenly went horribly red in the face and grabbed his head in his hands. Milošević said his head echoed as if he spoke into a metal pan.
In March 2006, Milošević expressed his concerns for the umpteenth time:
“During five years in prison I didn’t take a single antibiotic, I didn’t have any infections except for one flu, and still, medical report from January 12, 2006 [which he received two months later] states there are medications in my blood that are used to treat tuberculosis and leprosy – Rifampicin.”
Commenting on these test results which discovered highly toxic Rifampicin in Milošević’s blood, Verine Stewart said:
– It is an inexplicable mystery why Milošević and his lawyers were given results of his January 12 medical tests the entire two months later, on March 7.
Another question that has also remained unanswered is why was Milošević’s death discovered so late, in this most secure, technologically advanced detention unit with cameras in every cell and round-the-clock half-an-hour checkups.
At the ensuing press conference Carla del Ponte claimed there were no controls every half an hour during the night when Milošević died. Furthermore, for some reason all the video cameras were turned off that night.
When asked why would that be, Del Ponte simply replied she’s “not responsible for things that happen in prison”.
German Ambassador: Milošević’s Indictment Not Worth the Paper it was Written On
In the meantime, according to De Ruiter, a number of official statements by the world-class international law and war crime experts surfaced, stressing that Milošević’s trial, at first advertised as the ‘trial of the century’ has turned into a secret trial.
According to the former German Ambassador Ralph Hartmann, “already in his opening speech, Milošević revealed sensational facts and water-tight evidence of the active role United States, Germany and other NATO countries played in dismemberment and wars in former Yugoslavia. One may ignore the truth, but one cannot defeat it”.
As the trial progressed it became evident the Hague indictment was hardly worth the paper it was written on.
…Better if He Dies in the Docket
Many legal experts worldwide quickly caught on the Hague charade, publicly pointing out Hague’s prosecution clearly has no real evidence against Milošević and that the indictment against him is unceremoniously falling apart.
A number of commentators, some of whom De Ruiter cites, actually stressed the only way The Hague can get out of its predicament is if Milošević dies.
– It would be better if Milošević dies while he is still in the docket, – James Gaw, war crimes expert and Hague tribunal advisor said.
– Because, if the process is carried through to the end, the only thing he can possibly be convicted of is a minor violation of law, – said Gaw.
The author concludes that tribunal can undoubtedly be charged for the manslaughter, and possibly even for the premeditated murder for which, as some media reports claimed, the charges will be brought.
There is no doubt that the Hague Tribunal and Washington bear full responsibility for Milošević’s death, de Ruiter writes.
The Boomerang Effect
On August 25, 2005 Hague Prosecutor Geoffrey Nice announced Milošević is no longer being accused of an attempt to create the mythological ‘Greater Serbia’.
Removal of such a major building block of an indictment against Serbian president has radically shaken the entire construction. Indeed, the whole foundation on which all parts of the Hague indictment against Slobodan Milošević rested and which tied them all together was the premise that everything Milošević allegedly did had a single underlying motive – to create ‘Greater Serbia’.
Painfully, Tribunal realized its chances of reaching a nominally credible conviction were getting progressively slimmer.
Dutch lawyer N.M.P. Steijnen said:
“The chaos was getting more and more obvious. Accusations started to turn against the prosecutors, like a boomerang.
“Tribunal feared Milošević and his witnesses will reveal the role West played in dismemberment of Yugoslavia, how the West was systematically spreading lies about the alleged Serb drive for ‘Greater Serbia’, and the crimes committed by NATO in the war of aggression against Yugoslavia and Serbia – and, thus, that Milošević and his witnesses will conclusively demonstrate who it is that must be brought before the judges.
“Milošević presented over and over again, and with the help of witnesses from the Western countries, powerful evidence that Kosovo was not facing a ‘humanitarian catastrophe’ on the eve of NATO bombardment of Yugoslavia in 1999.
“It was not Milošević who was losing the trial, but the Tribunal.”
In one article Mr. Steijnen wrote:
“During years-long trial, in 466 sessions, prosecutors brought hundreds of witnesses against Milošević, they heaped over five thousand documents on him, and they proved nothing.
“This lack of actual evidence, this friendly haggling of prosecution with suspects who refused to testify against Milošević to get shorter sentences in return, all that was only damaging Tribunal’s case.
“Tribunal Worshipers in the role of reporters were carefully protecting public from knowing that Milošević, with his witnesses, struck fatal blows to the remnants of the indictment.”
Considerable Motives for Coldblooded Murder
De Ruiter notes the Hague was already in serious trouble, but things got much worse when it was finally Milošević’s turn to start his defense.
Witnesses who testified in Milošević’s defense were, without exception, eminent, authoritative and credible, and they were creating major headaches for the Tribunal, especially when one keeps in mind the fact most of the prosecution witness’ testimonies were debunked and exposed as falsehoods, sometimes to the point of becoming ludicrous and idiotic.
Situation became extremely tense when, at the end of February 2006, Milošević announced he will call Wesley Clark and Bill Clinton to the stand. He aimed to prove beyond any doubt that United States led an illegal war against Yugoslavia, and consciously and purposely bombed civilian targets – thus presenting the actual crime against humanity.
According to De Ruiter, Milošević’s intention wasn’t only unacceptable for NATO, but also for the tribunal, which would have been completely destroyed if such evidence was presented.
James Bissett, Canadian Ambassador for former Yugoslavia from 1990-1992, said:
“I have always been skeptical towards Tribunal, because I am convinced it is an instrument used by United States and its allies to mask their own blunders in the Balkan tragedy. Tribunal serves to present Milošević and Serbian nation as the party responsible for all the ills which befell that unfortunate country.”
Russian General Leonid Ivashov said:
“Slobodan Milošević was the only one who could give crystal clear testimony about the role United States played in the bloody dismemberment of Yugoslavia during the nineties, and who could do so completely and down to tiniest details. That is precisely what he fought for while he was being tried.”
According to General Ivashov, if Milošević was declared innocent, such ruling would have far-reaching consequences both for the Tribunal and NATO. General Ivashov believes that is why Milošević was killed.
– It is a political assassination by a proxy, – Ivashov said.
“Slobodan Milošević died in his detention cell precisely at the time his defense was in full swing. He was worried over his health, but he burned with a desire to expose the truth about what really took place in the Balkans. He had no motive for suicide. On the other hand, Hague Tribunal had an obvious and considerable motive for murder.
“NATO, Tribunal’s initiator and financier, was losing control over Milošević case. Was Milošević silenced before he could exercise his right to speak up?”, Ruiter asks.