"Butcher of the Balkans" Milosevic Dies in Prison

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AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) - One of history's biggest war crimes trials has ended abruptly, with the death of the man known as the "butcher of the Balkans."

Slobodan Milosevic was found dead Saturday in his prison cell in the Netherlands.

The former Serb leader apparently died of natural causes at the age of 64. He had heart ailments and high blood pressure.

Dutch authorities plan to conduct an autopsy Sunday.

The UN tribunal says it will also conduct a full investigation into the death.

A close aide to Milosevic says he was defiant just before he died, vowing to "defeat them all."

But he says it was "obvious he was very ill."

Milosevic had been on trial for four years on charges including genocide.

The case involved hundreds of witnesses and tens of thousands of documents, and cost millions of dollars.

The chief UN war crimes prosecutor says the trial was just weeks from completion, and she believes she would have won a conviction.