Moscow doesn't trust Milosevic's disclosure

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday that Russia doesn't fully trust Milosevic's autopsy and wants to send doctors to examine the body. Lavrov said that Russia had been disturbed by the U.N. war crime tribunal's refusal to let Milosevic undergo treatment in Russia.

"Now they are conducting the autopsy," he said at a briefing. "In the situation when we weren't believed, we also have the right not to believe and not to trust those who are conducting these autopsy." Milosevic's lawyer Zdenko Tomanovic said the body will be claimed by Milosevic's Marko either Monday or Tuesday, even though authorities in Belgrade have issued an international arrest warrant for Marko.

Lavrov confirmed getting a letter from Milosevic dated March 8 in which he complained about inadequate treatment in jail and asked Moscow to push the tribunal to let him undergo treatment in Russia. He said the letter arrived in Moscow on Sunday.

"It says that in his opinion certain methods of treatment ... had had a negative impact on his health," Lavrov said. Lavrov said that Moscow had been offended and alarmed by the tribunal's rejection of its earlier plea to allow Milosevic make a trip to Russia for medical treatment.

"Essentially they didn't believe Russia," Lavrov said. "This can't fail to disturb us. It can't fail to alarm us that Milosevic died shortly afterward." He said that Russia had sought the tribunal's permission for the Russian pathologists to examine Milosevic's body. "We have appealed to the tribunal with a request for our doctors to take part in the autopsy, or at least to acquaint themselves with its results." A group of Russian medics is ready to fly to the Hague, Lavrov said, reports the AP.

N.U.