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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
03THEHAGUE2835 2003-11-12 16:04 2011-01-18 00:12 SECRET//NOFORN Embassy The Hague
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 05 THE HAGUE 002835 

12055,11/12/2003 16:26,03THEHAGUE2835,"Embassy The Hague",SECRET//NOFORN,03THEHAGUE2568,"This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

","S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 05 THE HAGUE 002835 
Classified By: Legal Counselor Clifton M. Johnson per reasons 1.5(b)-(d 
1. (S/NF) Summary: The head of the detention unit of the 
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia 
(ICTY) provided Embassy legal officers and USG physician with 
details of Slobodan Milosevic's health status, daily regimen, 
legal and financial network, frame of mind, and contacts 
outside the Tribunal.  Among many revealing details, this 
official -- who sees and speaks with Milosevic more regularly 
and closely than nearly anybody else -- provided information 
indicating that Milosevic's heart condition, while manageable 
on a day-to-day basis, is serious and not readily controlled 
by medication.  At the same time the official discounted 
reports that Milosevic suffers from diabetes or, at least at 
present, depression.  The official described a confident, 
engaged Milosevic who with his wife's assistance ably manages 
a web of legal and political contacts.  Through his Belgrade 
legal advisers that rotate through the Hague he exercises 
control over Social Party of Serbia (SPS) activities and 
coordinates legal strategy with the amici curiae,  friends of 
the court.  Meanwhile, the accused's financial situation is 
precarious, necessitating a recent hat-passing exercise by 
the SPS in order to generate funds to pay household staff and 
the travel of his lawyers.  End Summary. 
2. (S/NF) Tim McFadden an experienced Irish prison warden and 
head of the ICTY's detention facility in Scheveningen, 
provided embassy legal officers and USG physician an 
unprecedented overview of Slobodan Milosevic's life and 
activities since coming to trail.  McFadden, whom one ICTY 
Registry official described as ""the best of the best,"" is in 
a unique position not only to describe Milosevic's detention, 
as he sees the defendant and interacts with him on a daily 
basis, but also to assess him on a relative basis to other 
ICTY detainees.  Moreover, McFadden is privy to the contents 
of Milosevic's monitored telephone conversations and visits 
as well as the reports of the physicians that have examined 
him.  McFadden has had long experience in managing tough 
prisoners, as he managed a number of UK prisons holding Irish 
Republican Army detainees; another Registry official 
described ICTY detainees as ""pussycats"" compared to McFadden 
charges in the UK.  Throughout the one-hour discussion, 
McFadden gave the impression of being fully and personally 
aware of all of the details of Milosevic's detention, though 
he noted that Milosevic remains a private man who does not 
generally share his thoughts. 
Associates and Frame of Mind 
3. (S/NF) McFadden firmly rejected reports that Milosevic was 
suffering from depression noting that the accused has given 
""no indication that he would be anything but defiant to the 
process"" of his prosecution and that he demonstrates only a 
""limited inclination toward depression.""  He noted that 
Milosevic's inability to see his son, daughter, 
daughter-in-law, wife and grandson, especially the latter 
two, causes him substantial unhappiness.  On the other hand, 
McFadden said that Milosevic ""has a job that distracts and 
preoccupies so that he is not apparently inclined to 
depression.""  He calls his wife, Mirjana Markovic, every 
morning, continuing what McFadden described as an 
""extraordinary relationship""; Milosevic could manipulate a 
nation, he said, but struggled to manage his wife who, on the 
contrary, seemed to exert just such a pull on him.  McFadden 
referred to a broad range of emotions and approaches that 
Mira Markovic deployed to goad or cajole Milosevic to take 
particular actions.  When he failed to heed her advice, she 
was not beyond telling him that bad outcomes could have been 
avoided had he listened to her.  Markovic served as a source 
of information, comfort, motivation, and strategy for 
Milosevic and he relied heavily on her guidance.  When 
Markovic pressed Milosevic to do something he did not want to 
do, Milosevic rarely pushed back directly but simply never 
acted on the particular entreaty.  McFadden referred back to 
the relationship a number of times in the discussion as the 
central one in Milosevic's life.  McFadden made clear that 
Milosevic's blood pressure spike in September (ref) caused 
serious alarm at the Tribunal, driving registry officers to 
consider ways in which to reduce his stress and, as one 
contact had previously said, ""make him happy.""  McFadden even 
described his proposal that the Registry find a way to bring 
Markovic to The Hague from Russia with some immunity from 
arrest (which the Deputy Registrar noted was not feasible), 
because McFadden believed so strongly that getting the two 
together could help keep down Milosevic's stress and perhaps 
his blood pressure.  He added, however, that even that was a 
risk because ""she can be a very volatile person."" 
4. (S/NF) In the absence of his wife, Milosevic himself has 
had to coordinate the various groups providing him with legal 
and other assistance, previously her domain.  It appears that 
her absence has left a substantial hole in his ability to 
organize the various entities purporting to assist him.  He 
tries to maintain what McFadden called ""functional contacts"" 
with the SPS and the Freedom (Sloboda) Association, but ""the 
Belgrade crowd doesn't get on with the internationals,"" a 
relationship that Markovic used to manage and coordinate. 
Previously, Markovic would keep him up to date on wrangling 
within the SPS and tell him who he needed to call to patch up 
feuds, solve conflicts, or provide political guidance to. 
Meanwhile, Milosevic's financial position has worsened 
considerably since the spring (i.e., soon after the 
assassination of Zoran Djindjic).  Milosevic fell five months 
in arrear in paying his Belgrade household staff and was 
unable for a period to pay the air tickets of his rotating 
Belgrade advisers.  Ultimately, the condition worsened to 
such a degree that the SPS was forced to ""to pass the hat"" to 
raise money on his behalf.  The Registry believes his 
financial problems will worsen. In an interesting sidenote, 
McFadden said that his Belgrade contacts organized, and the 
Registry consented to, an evaluation of Milosevic's medical 
records by a group of physicians partial to him.  The group 
concluded, following the review about 19 months ago, that his 
medical treatment (described below) met the requisite 
standard of care. 
5. (S/NF) In the process of discussing Milosevic's contacts, 
McFadden illuminated the nature of the relationship among the 
so-called legal associates (Serb lawyers who have no 
courtroom privileges but enjoy privileged communications with 
the defendant), the amici and Milosevic.  McFadden said that 
Milosevic believes that ""he is surrounded by fools"" both 
inside and out of the courtroom, though he added in an aside 
that this was a problem of his own making, as he had 
surrounded himself with ""fools"" throughout his career out of 
a fear of being challenged by more competent and intelligent 
advisors.  Milosevic most relishes the opportunity to examine 
senior level witnesses of his level and is disdainful of the 
lower level officials and witnesses paraded before him by the 
prosecution.  The two associates who have spent much of the 
trial in the trial chamber's public gallery (Zdenko Tomanovic 
and Dragoslav Ognjanovic) are, in McFadden's view, ""messenger 
boys"" to (unnamed) associates in Belgrade.  McFadden knew 
little of Branko Rakic, the Belgrade lawyer/law professor 
recently added as Milosevic's third legal associate, but his 
initial impression was that he was contributing a more 
methodical, ""legal and logical"" approach to Milosevic's 
defense and cross-examination preparations.  As a result, 
McFadden expected Milosevic's organization of his defense to 
6. (S/NF) In contrast to his courtroom disdain of the amici, 
McFadden said that Milosevic is in fact ""fond"" of them. 
Moreover, his public distancing of them actually masks the 
fact that his legal associates regularly liaise with the 
amici to discuss and coordinate defense strategy and 
questioning of witnesses.  (Comment.  Milosevic's adept and 
hereto unknown coordination with the amici is a striking 
demonstration of his abilities and methods.  By using his 
Belgrade advisers to liaise with the amici in secret he is 
able to maintain the optically favorable appearance of a 
single man defending himself against an unfair and powerful 
international process.  At the same time, he takes full 
advantage of the legal resources the amici offer and ensures 
that key technical legal points in his defense are covered so 
that he can focus on tending to the more political aspects of 
his defense.  The fact that senior prosecutors on the 
Milosevic team are wholly unaware of this cooperation (as 
were we) underscores Milosevic's ability to work effectively 
behind the scenes, through third parties, and leave few 
fingerprints.  End comment).  The Registrar noted that, as 
helpful as the amici might be to Milosevic now, he does not 
expect the amici to continue in their current role during the 
defense case.  Their departure would be a significant blow to 
Milosevic's defense unless he finally decides to accept legal 
counsel or is at least able to beef up his legal support from 
Physical Health 
7.(S/NF) McFadden noted that Milosevic's medical records from 
the former Yugoslavia indicated a long history of 
hypertension (high blood pressure) that was difficult to 
control especially when Milosevic was stressed or excessively 
fatigued.  He said that during the past summer a number of 
things happened that put Milosevic under increased stress and 
caused excessive fatigue, including the build up of stress 
from court appearances and trial preparations, his wife's 
legal problems that caused her to flee to Russia, the need 
for Milosevic to give increased time and attention to 
disputes and problems within the SPS Party (that would have 
formerly been handled in part by his wife), financial 
difficulties, and his gradual loss of attention from media. 
All of these factors appear to have contributed to the 
increase in Milosevic's blood pressure.  Physicians 
consistently found Milosevic had a diastolic blood pressure 
above 120 mm mercury (normal should be below 90 mm mercury). 
Despite treatment with high doses of six medications his 
blood pressure remained dangerously elevated until the trial 
schedule was reduced to three days a week. (Note.  The only 
information we have about his medications is that he was near 
the maximum dose of beta blockers and was also taking a 
medication that has to be stopped intermittently because of 
dangerous side effects.  End note).  Milosevic is now on four 
8. (S/NF) A reduced trial schedule had been recommended by 
Dutch physicians (including Dutch cardiologist, Dr. Paul Van 
Dykman) last year but was rejected by the Court until 
Milosevic's blood pressure could not be controlled with 
standard medications.  His long history of hypertension has 
caused mild heart damage (identified by Serb physicians 
before he was apprehended and transferred to The Hague) but 
physicians have seen no evidence of a heart attack, stroke, 
or kidney damage.  Three exercise EKGs have been normal and 
Milosevic will continue to have an exercise EKG twice a year 
according to McFadden. The last hypertensive episode ended 
about 6 weeks ago. 
9. (S/NF) McFadden reports that Milosevic's hypertensive 
episodes have not correlated with adverse events at the trial 
or with the appearance of certain witnesses.  They have seen 
no evidence that he is using his blood pressure problems as 
an issue to slow or otherwise affect the trial. Moreover, 
Milsoevic understands that he has potentially lethal health 
problems and is a compliant patient.  The only two physician 
recommendations he has refused are (1) to take sedatives 
recommended by his doctors to lower his blood pressure and 
(2) to undergo invasive procedures to look for underlying 
causes of his hypertension and evidence of end organ damage 
in the brain.  He is allowed to cook for himself, which 
limits control of his diet, but he nevertheless appears to be 
following a salt restricted diet. 
10. (S/NF) In contrast to previous reports that Milsoevic has 
diabetes, McFadden stated that there is no evidence in his 
medical records for this diagnosis and all of his blood 
sugars have been normal.  Milosevic,s cholesterol and other 
lipids have been normal.  His weight has been stable since he 
lost 12 pounds when he was first brought to The Hague.  He 
has not been observed to smoke much; in a recent conversation 
with McFadden, he claimed not to have smoked in four days and 
to have no desire to do so.  His only request, McFadden said, 
is for a glass of red wine, but alcohol is strictly forbidden 
in the detention unit. 
11. (S/NF) Milosevic is said by McFadden to have a nearly 
photographic memory, saying that he has ""never met a man with 
his memory.""  He said that a ""very important"" detainee, whom 
he would not identify, warned McFadden early in Milosevic's 
detention that Milosevic has a very good memory that would 
""come back to bite""; with a laugh, McFadden said it had. 
McFadden has seen no evidence of any deterioration in 
Milosevic's memory or other mental capacities.  He remains, 
McFadden said, as ""narcissistic a person"" as when he arrived 
in The Hague.  On the other hand, unlike other detainees who 
constantly complain, Milosevic is cooperative and always 
accepts McFadden's decisions, often responding, ""at least I 
asked.""  In general, moreover, Milosevic believes strongly in 
his own powers and thinks that he is ""winning"" in the 
courtroom, an attitude that reinforces his currently stable 
Daily Regimen and Prison Activities 
12. (S/NF) Milosevic's routine varies depending on whether 
court is in session.  Thus, on the three days of court 
proceedings per week, a typical day begins around 0700 with a 
wake-up call; after he gets ready, he calls his wife around 
0730 and leaves for court by 0800.  The court sessions run 
from 0900 to approximately 1400, with two twenty minute 
breaks.  After court, he returns to the detention center, 
where he has a meal and is allowed one hour of outdoor 
exercise (McFadden noted that he will walk for a full hour, 
""sun, rain or hail"").  Following the hour of exercise, he 
meets with legal advisors, reads the court transcripts, and 
otherwise prepares for the next court appearance.  In the 
evening, he will typically read a book (he is an avid reader, 
especially of ""rubbish"" and potboiler thrillers like Grisham, 
and he prefers to read in the original English).  On days 
when he is not in court, he may sleep later, sometimes until 
0930 or 1000, have additional exercise time, attend 
""creativity class,"" visit with his legal associates, have an 
afternoon nap, listen to Sinatra discs, and perhaps watch one 
of the DVD's that a  privileged visitor (i.e. most likely his 
Belgrade lawyers) have smuggled in to him. 
13. (S/NF) Milosevic has access to a laptop computer but is 
not allowed on the Internet and cannot use E-mail.  His 
access to the outside world is via phone calls or visits.  He 
is allocated 75 euros per month for phone use, but can make 
an unlimited number of calls beyond that as long as he pays 
for the calls -- something he has consistently been able to 
do.  He is allowed an unlimited number of free calls to 
recognized legal associates on a special detention unit 
phone.  All of his phone calls and visits, except those with 
the recognized legal associates, are monitored. 
14. (S/NF) Within the detention community, Milosevic is well 
liked and respected by other prisoners.  Many of them take 
care to monitor his health and encourage him to watch his own 
diet, McFadden said.  He has refused to see a psychiatrist 
individually but does participate in the group sessions with 
the other prisoners on his floor, which are monitored by the 
detention unit.  The psychiatrist who conducts these sessions 
tells McFadden that she has seen no evidence that he is 
depressed or has any other significant clinical problem. 
15. (S/NF) Comment: Slobodan Milosevic's health surely puts 
him, in McFadden's words, at ""higher risk of accident"" than 
similarly situated persons of his age who do not suffer 
hypertension.  Yet his health seems to have stabilized for 
the time being, particularly since the trial chamber's 
decision to go to three days per week.  Whether Milosevic can 
maintain such a schedule will be tested when the defense case 
begins (perhaps not before September 2004).  Some in the 
Registry and in the Office of the Prosecutor speculate that 
the courtroom schedule will be further reduced to one day a 
week in order to allow Milosevic two days of defense 
preparation and, as the doctors have ordered, four days of 
rest.  The end of the trial seems ever more distant when put 
in this light.  Even with his health stabilized, the impact 
of the move to the defense phase will cause further pressures 
of a financial and legal nature which could in turn trigger a 
downturn in his health.  For now, however, Milosevic remains 
comfortably on top of his game.  End comment.