Category: Mass Murder
Date: 1989 - 1997
Crime: As the leader of Serbia, was arrested and put before the International Criminal Tribunal for conducting a campaign of ethnic cleansing against Bosnia and Croatia which left a quarter of a million people dead. He died of a heart attack during the trial before a verdict could be reached
Biography: Milosevic was born on August 20, 1941and raised in Pozarevac, Serbia during the Axis occupation of World War II. His parents separated when he was just 4 years old and both of committed suicide while Milosevic was in his twenties. He studied law at the University of Belgrade and became the head of the ideology committee of the Yugoslav Communist League. He rose to power in the 80's with his vocal support for Serbians in Kosovo, declaring they were being oppressed by the ethnic Albanians. As Yugoslavia began to abandon communist rule and adopt democratic, multi-party systems, Milosevic followed suit and in 1990, Serbia had a new constitution. His was a democratic government in name only as he controlled the media, reformed the penal code to restrict free speech and had a punitive response to any journalists who questioned his tactics. Milosevic promoted Serb nationalism and overt xenophobia toward other ethnicities. His state controlled newspapers commonly ran inflammatory stories contributing to increasing fear and anger towards Croatia. His indictment claimed that his actions were 'all part of a common scheme, strategy or plan to create a Greater Serbia, a centralized state to be achieved by forcibly removing non-Serbs from large geographic areas through the commission of crimes as charged'. Milosevic was indicted in May 1999, with charges of war crimes in Kosovo, charges of genocide in Bosnia and also war crimes in Croatia. For his crimes, Milosevic has drawn frequent comparisons to other hated leaders in World History, including Adolph Hitler.