CBC In Depth
Timeline: Slobodan Milosevic
CBC News Online | April 5, 2006

Former Yugoslavian president Slobodan Milosevic died March 11, 2006, while on trial before the United Nations' International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague.

Milosevic faced 66 charges, including crimes against humanity and genocide. He was accused of murder and planning a systematic campaign of ethnic cleansing.

Among Milosevic's alleged crimes was the forced expulsion of 800,000 Albanians from Kosovo in 1999, which led to the NATO bombing campaign. He was accused of planning and ordering his army and police to commit mass murder in Racak, Kosovo.

He was also accused of ordering Europe's worst atrocity since the Second World War, the mass murder of 7,000 Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica in July 1995.

The trial had lasted four years at the time of his death. The tribunal formally closed proceedings against Milosevic on March 14, 2006.

April 5, 2006: A Dutch investigation concludes that Milosevic died of a heart attack. The autopsy concluded that "serious heart defects" led to a fatal heart attack.
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March 17, 2006: The head of the UN war crimes tribunal reports that toxicologists who examined Milosevic's blood tests say he was not poisoned and he had not received "toxic concentrations" of any medication that could have killed him.
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March 16, 2006: The flag-draped coffin of Slobodan Milosevic is put on public display at the Museum of the Revolution in Belgrade. Hundreds of supporters line up to pay their final respects.
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March 14, 2006: Judges at the United Nations war crimes tribunal in The Hague formally close the case against Milosevic. Presiding judge Patrick Robinson expresses regret that a verdict in the trial is impossible, saying the victims would never see justice done.
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March 13, 2006:A preliminary autopsy performed by Dutch pathologists shows Milosevic died of a heart attack. A Dutch toxicologist who examined Milosevic's blood tests two weeks earlier says he was taking drugs to deliberately worsen his heart condition so that he could be transferred to Russia for treatment.
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March 11, 2006: As his four-year trial at the United Nations tribunal comes to a close, Milosevic is found dead in his prison cell in The Hague. His supporters insist he is a victim of foul play and was poisoned. UN's chief prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte, suggests that Milosevic might have committed suicide to avoid a guilty verdict.
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Feb. 14, 2005: UN judges demand Milosevic stop wasting time and start asking witnesses more focused questions.

Nov. 22, 2004: Nikolai Ryzhkov, the former prime minister of the Soviet Union, claims NATO's bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 wasn't about saving ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.

Ryzhkov testifies the bombing was simply an act of NATO aggression aimed at punishing a country that opposed the aspirations of the Kosovars.

Ryzhkov is the first high-profile witness to testify for the defence.
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Nov. 1, 2004: Judges rule Milosevic can defend himself but he must accept a standby lawyer in case he becomes ill again.
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Oct. 21, 2004: Milosevic pleads for the right to represent himself.
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Slobodan Milosevic appears before the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague, the Netherlands, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2002. (AP Photo/Pool, Paul Vreeker)
Sept. 2, 2004: Citing Milosevic's poor health, the UN tribunal imposes two defence lawyers on the former Yugoslav president. The two British lawyers are assigned to take over the case Sept. 7, but Milosevic still has the option to choose his own defence counsel.
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Aug. 31, 2004: Milosevic's trial resumes, with the ex-leader dismissing accusations of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity as he presents the opening statement in his defence.
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July 5, 2004: The opening of Milosevic's defence is delayed due to concerns over his health. Heart and high blood pressure problems had already delayed parts of the trial for months. Milosevic has been defending himself - but ongoing concerns over his health have prompted prosecutors to demand that the court appoint lawyers to carry on his defence.
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Feb. 12, 2002: Milosevic becomes the first former head of state to go on trial for war crimes. The 66-count indictment includes charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. The former Yugoslav president refuses to enter a plea or recognize the legitimacy of the proceedings. He says he will defend himself and call witnesses including former U.S. president Bill Clinton and British Prime Minister Tony Blair to testify that they considered him a peacekeeper.
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Feb. 1, 2002: An appellate bench of the UN war crimes tribunal agrees to the prosecution's request for a single trial on three separate indictments of war crimes against Milosevic. That allows key witnesses to appear once rather than being recalled several times.
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Jan. 30, 2002: Milosevic labels the UN war crimes trial against him "an evil attack." In his first opportunity to address the tribunal, Milosevic speaks for the entire 30 minutes allotted to the defence.
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Jan. 9, 2002: Milosevic tells a pre-trail hearing that he has no hope for a fair trial. The presiding judge wraps up the hearing by turning off Milosevic's microphone as he launched into a diatribe against the process. "This is not the time for speeches," Judge Richard May said before leaving the courtroom.
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Dec. 11, 2001: Milosevic refuses to enter a plea as he appears before the UN war crimes tribunal to face fresh charges, including committing genocide during the Bosnian war. "I should be given credit for peace in Bosnia not war,'' he tells the court.
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Nov. 23, 2001: Charges against Milosevic are expanded to include genocide in connection with the 1992-95 war in Bosnia.
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Oct. 29, 2001: Milosevic dismisses new charges of war crimes laid against him by the United Nations war crimes tribunal. The additional charges cover crimes allegedly committed in Kosovo in 1999, including the sexual assault of Kosovar women and the transfer of bodies from Kosovo to mass graves in Serbia.
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Aug. 31, 2001: A Dutch court turns down Milosevic's request to be released from a UN detention facility in The Hague. His lawyers argued the tribunal was established illegally and has no authority. The judge rules Dutch and international law give the tribunal the power to try Milosevic.
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Aug. 30, 2001: The International War Crimes Tribunal appoints a lawyer to make sure Milosevic has access to a fair trail. The role of the appointed lawyer ias not to represent Milosevic, but would include ensuring he has access to any submissions to the court, making objections to evidence, cross-examining witnesses, drawing attention to any evidence that might lead to exoneration, and any other action seen by the lawyer as appropriate to ensuring a fair trial.
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July 3, 2001: In his first appearance before the international war crimes court, Milosevic refuses to recognize the court's authority. The court enters pleas of "not guilty" on his behalf.
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July 2, 2001: On the eve of his first appearance before the war crimes tribunal, Milosevic indicates that he will represent himself - and not hire a lawyer, because he does not recognize the tribunal's authority.
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June 28, 2001: Former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic is extradited to the Netherlands and handed over to the UN. He's transferred to a private jail cell in The Hague where he awaits the beginning of his war crimes trial.
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June 24, 2001: Milosevic challenges a decree approved by the Yugolsav government that clears the way for his extradition to face warm crimes charges in The Hague.
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May 3, 2001: Milosevic served with UN idictment

April 4, 2001: Serb officials refuse to accept a United Nations arrest warrant for Milosevic on charges of war crimes. The UN is told not to single out Serb leaders for prosecution.
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April 3, 2001: Yugoslav government officials say Milosevic could face death penalty, if he's convicted on charges of corruption. Investigators look into his possible role in political assassinations, as western powers lobby to have him extradited to face war crimes charges.
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April 1, 2001: World leaders say Milosevic arrest only the first step

Slobodan Milosevic attends a Socialist Party session in Belgrade, Jan. 11, 2001. (AP Photo)
April 1, 2001: Former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic is arrested on corruption charges, and is wanted by the International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague for charges including crimes against humanity. He is picked up hours after saying he would never be taken alive. The Yugoslav government says a cache of weapons and plans for an uprising are found at Milosevic's villa in Belgrade.
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Feb. 28, 2001: Prosecutors in Belgrade order police to begin investigating former president Milosevic. Authorities focus on reports Milosevic transferred more than 180 kilograms of gold out of the country before he was overthrown the previous October.
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Jan. 23, 2001: The UN's chief war crimes prosecutor travels to Belgrade to demand the extradition of former president Slobodan Milosevic to face war crimes charges in The Hague. The country's new government says it would prefer to try Milosevic at home.
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IN FOCUS: Kosovo Podujevo massacre Srebrenica massacre CBC Radio doc on Srebrenica Besieged Sarajevo Bosnia-Herzegovina elections

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International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia from the United Nations

The ICTY's indictment for Milosovic and others from the United Nations

Don Murray: A success story

War crimes: Bosnia

May 22, 2006
Montenegro chooses independence in narrow vote

May 3, 2006
EU suspends trade talks with Serbia

April 30, 2006
Serbia misses deadline to hand over alleged war criminal

March 18, 2006
Milosevic buried in quiet ceremony in his hometown

March 14, 2006
Tribunal formally closes case against Milosevic

March 11, 2006
Milosevic dies in jail, leaving war crimes trial unfinished

Nov. 22, 2004
Milosevic war crimes trial hears from former Russian minister

March 17, 2004
Ethnic clashes kill 22 in Kosovo

May 11, 2003
Montenegro votes for looser ties with Serbia

March 12, 2003
Serbian prime minister assassinated

Feb. 12, 2002
Milosevic's history-making trial opens in The Hague

April 1, 2001
Milosevic arrested, jailed, sedated

Oct. 29, 2000
Moderate leader claims victory in Kosovo

Oct. 6, 2000
Chretien pledges aid to Yugoslavia

Sept. 29, 2000
Anti-Milosevic rallies spread in Yugoslavia

Sept. 24, 2000
Elections in Yugoslavia a 'complete mess'

April 30, 1999
Yugoslavia and NATO still far apart on proposals

March 26, 1999
NATO air strikes hammer Yugoslavia for third night

CBC does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of external sites. Links will open in new window.

Serbia and Montenegro

Statistical Office of Kosovo


UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo

Centre for Peace in the Balkans

UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

Srebrenica report: Report of the Secretary-General pursuant to General Assembly resolution 53/35 (1998)

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