Dr. med. Uta Mader, Matthias Jochheim, Prof. Dr. med. habil. Ilse Eisen-Hagemann, Dr. phil. Hans-Peter Brenner, Prof. Dr. med. habil. Ingeborg Rapoport, Prof. Dr. med. Dr. phil. Dr. hc. mult. Samuel Mitja Rapoport, Dr. med. Christa Anders, Dr. med. Ernst Bellmer, Dr. med. Iris Jonkanski, Dr. med. Michel Hühn, Barbara Mühlfeld
Mr. Theodor Meron
Mr. Richard May
Mr. Steven Kay
Mr. Branislav Tapuskovic
ICTY Churchillplein 1
NL – 2517 JW The Hague
Since the submissions we made to you last November and December the proceedings against Mr. Slobodan Milosevic had to be repeatedly interrupted for health reasons; since the summer recess alone this has happened numerous times. Early this week for the first time a proceeding already in session had to be interrupted due to an acute attack of heart and vascular disease.
What is relevant regarding this had been communicated already by the cardiologist Dr. P. R. M. van Dijkman, appointed by your side, when in his report dated November 18, 2002, he confirmed “essential hypertension with secondary organ damage”, “during trial there recurred a steep increase in blood pressure up to around 220/130 mmHg”, “a condition that looks like a hypertension emergency” and when he mentioned “the possibility of coronary disease, cerebrovascular accident, heart attack and death”.
Recent events compel us to seriously raise the issue of your duty to exercise proper care and supervision. It’s true that for some time there were no reports about any drugs being contraindicated or having unacceptable side effects. On the other hand there is still no regular cardiologic supervision taking place, which to us seems irresponsible in view of the known health condition.
Although with an irresponsibly delay, finally after one year there was a reduction of the number of trial sessions per week and session hours per day. On the other hand, the volume of material produced by the prosecution is said to have been increased this year on top of the already existing 500,000 pages DIN A4 by another 400,000 pages, not to mention the video and audio tapes. Such a volume would be impossible for any person to deal with during the allotted time; in this case the lack of time amounts to a serious stress factor directly threatening his health.
When Mrs. Del Ponte in her interview with Neue Zürcher Zeitung dated July 18, 2003, stated with regard to the health condition of Mr. Milosevic: “He is in very, very good health. Many people at the age of 60 or more are suffering from high blood pressure. We won’t comfort him. I hope that you don’t get the impression we would”, this diametrically contradicts the medical findings and procedural proposals repeatedly dealt with by the Third Chamber. It also contradicts the relevant UN-Resolutions concerning the treatment of prisoners. We very much hope that the cynicism expressed by Mrs. Del Ponte is an exceptional phenomenon and is not in any way representative of the attitude taken by your institution as a whole.
We appeal to you, considering Mr. Milosevic’s hypertension and increased infarct risk, not to practice any kind of such “non-comforting” treatment. It is technically impossible during the allotted time to deal with the amount of material presented by the prosecution, which causes serious but avoidable stress. Even for a young healthy person this would be an extraordinary task. In the present case for the preparation of the defence after the prosecution has finished their case it is indispensable to interrupt the proceedings for a longer period. Mr. Milosevic has demanded an interruption and his release for a period of two years. It is a question for the discretion of the trial chamber, to examine this demand from the point of view of “equality of arms”, since the prosecution has had more than two years to prepare its case, not to mention the staff at its disposal.
At least with respect to the health condition the time granted now for the preparation of the defence of only three months is totally insufficient, as it will irresponsibly increase the risk and stress factors. Mr. Milosevic should be provisionally released for an adequate, longer period of time, so that during the preparation of his defence he can have medical treatment and control by his long time doctors in Belgrade.
Dr. med. Uta Mader, Köln
Spokesperson for the Initiative, Medical Doctor, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW – Nobel Peace Prize 1985), Association of Democratic Doctors (VDÄÄ in the German initials)
Matthias Jochheim, Frankfurt/Main, Medical Doctor and Psychotherapist, IPPNW
Prof. Dr. med. habil. Ilse Eisen-Hagemann, Berlin, Medical Doctor
Dr. phil. Hans-Peter Brenner, Bonn, Psychological Psychotherapist, Kassenärztliche Vereinigung Koblenz,
Prof. Dr. med. habil. Ingeborg Rapoport, Berlin, Medical Doctor
Prof. Dr. med. Dr. phil. Dr. hc. mult. Samuel Mitja Rapoport, Berlin, Medical Doctor
Dr. med. Christa Anders, Berlin, Medical Doctor
Dr. med. Ernst Bellmer, Erzhausen, Internist
Dr. med. Iris Jonkanski, Brinckheim (Frankreich), Medical Doctor
Barbara Mühlfeld, Frankfurt/Main, Medical Doctor
(reference to organisations for information only)