Slobodan Miloševic (Serbo-Croatian: [slobodan milo??e?it?] (listen); Serbian Cyrillic: ???????? ?????????; 20 August 1941 – 11 March 2006) was a Yugoslav and Serbian 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 alleged marginalization of Serbia, views that the powers of Serbia's autonomous provinces were too strong making them almost independent from Serbia, and claims of political incapacity to deter Albanian separatist unrest in Serbia's autonomous province of Kosovo.
Miloševic'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 Yugoslav republics of Serbia and Montenegro.
Miloševic 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, Miloševic 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.
He became the first sitting head of state to be charged with war crimes.
Miloševic 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 Miloševic faltered for lack of evidence, prompting the Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Ðindic to extradite him to the ICTY to stand trial for charges of war crimes instead.
At the outset of the trial, Miloševic 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.
Miloševic 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.
Miloševic suffered from heart ailments and hypertension, and died of a heart attack.
The Tribunal denied any responsibility for Miloševic's death and stated that he had refused to take prescribed medicines and medicated himself instead.After Miloševic'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 Miloševic 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 Mladic, and for violating its obligation to comply with the provisional measures ordered by the Court.
Miloševic's rule has been described by observers as authoritarian or autocratic, as well as kleptocratic, with numerous accusations of electoral frauds, political assassinations, suppression of press freedom and police brutality.