updated 11/16/2005 8:45:23 AM ET 2005-11-16T13:45:23

The trial of Slobodan Milosevic was adjourned Wednesday after the former Yugoslav president said he was feeling too ill to continue.

“I cannot call my next witness. I cannot sit here any longer,” Milosevic told presiding Judge Patrick Robinson. “Everybody knows I have been coming here with great difficulty.”

Robinson then announced a break in hearings. “You will be medically examined at the tribunal,” he said.

The interruption came one day after Milosevic asked the court for a six-week recess, citing a new medical report that his heart condition had not stabilized.

In poor health
Milosevic, 63, suffers chronic high blood pressure, which has led to months of delays in his landmark case at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia that began in February 2002.

Asked by the judge how he is feeling, Milosevic said, “I have this enormous pressure in my eyes, ears, I feel like my head weighs half a ton. I am bothered by any kind of sound.”

The former Serb leader told the court on Tuesday that three private specialists had examined him on Nov. 4 and recommended “a suspension of physical and mental activities for a minimum of six weeks.”

The three-judge tribunal, which only received a copy of the report during Tuesday’s hearing, said it would consider the doctor’s recommendations and later deliver a decision.

Milosevic is defending himself against charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity during the breakup of the former Yugoslavia during the 1990s. Though he has repeatedly refused to accept a defense lawyer, the strain of preparing for court appearances and questioning witnesses has added to his health problems.

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