Born: Pozarevac, Territory of the Military Commander in Serbia [now Pozarevac, Serbia]
Slobodan Milošević (miːˈlɒsəvɪtʃ; slobǒdan milǒːʃeʋitɕ; ; 20 August 1941 – 11 March 2006) was a Yugoslav politician who served as the President of Serbia (originally the Socialist Republic of Serbia, a constituent republic within the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) from 1989 to 1997 and President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1997 to 2000. He led the Socialist Party of Serbia from its foundation in 1990 and rose to power as Serbian President during efforts to reform the 1974 Constitution of Yugoslavia in response to the marginalization of Serbia and its political incapacity to deter Albanian separatist unrest in the Serbian province of Kosovo. Milošević's presidency of Serbia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was marked by several major reforms to Serbia's constitution from the 1980s to the 1990s that reduced the powers of the autonomous provinces in Serbia. In 1990 Serbia transitioned from a Titoist, one-party system to a multi-party system and attempted reforms to the 1974 Constitution of Yugoslavia. The constituent republics of the country split apart amid the outbreak of wars, and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was founded by the former SFRY republics of Serbia and Montenegro. Milošević negotiated the Dayton Agreement on behalf of the Bosnian Serbs, which ended the Bosnian War in 1995. During the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, Milošević was charged by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) with war crimes in connection to the wars in Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo. Milošević resigned from the Yugoslav presidency amid demonstrations following the disputed presidential election of 24 September 2000, and he was arrested by Yugoslav federal authorities on 31 March 2001 on suspicion of corruption, abuse of power, and embezzlement. The initial investigation into Milošević faltered for lack of evidence, prompting the Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Đinđić to extradite him to the ICTY to stand trial for charges of war crimes instead. At the outset of the trial, Milošević denounced the Tribunal as illegal because it had not been established with the consent of the United Nations General Assembly; therefore he refused to appoint counsel for his defence. Milošević conducted his own defence in the five-year-long trial, which ended without a verdict when he died in his prison cell in The Hague on 11 March 2006. Milošević suffered from heart ailments and hypertension, and died of a heart attack. The Tribunal denied any responsibility for Milošević's death and stated that he had refused to take prescribed medicines and medicated himself instead. After Milošević's death, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) concluded separately in the Bosnian Genocide Case that there was no evidence linking him to genocide committed by Bosnian Serb forces during the Bosnian War. However, the Court did find that Milošević and others in Serbia had committed a breach of the Genocide Convention by failing to prevent the genocide from occurring and for not cooperating with the ICTY in punishing the perpetrators of the genocide, in particular General Ratko Mladić, and for violating its obligation to comply with the provisional measures ordered by the Court. Milošević's rule has been described by observers as authoritarian or autocratic.
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