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Yugoslav Minister Commits Suicide

April 12, 2002

MADRID, Spain (AP) _ Yugoslav health and labor minister Miodrag Kovac committed suicide Friday in a hotel room in Madrid, the Yugoslav embassy said.

It said the body of Kovac was discovered hanging in the Eurobuilding Hotel in north-central Madrid with a suicide note nearby.

The embassy would not release details of the note, but said there was no connection to the attempted suicide Thursday in Belgrade of war crimes suspect Vlajko Stojiljkovic, who shot himself after the parliament approved a law allowing extraditions to a United Nations war crimes tribunal. Kovac was not known to be on the list of people sought by the U.N. tribunal.

Kovac, who was married with three children, was in Spain attending the United Nations Second Assembly on World Aging.

Kovac was 54, a cardiovascular surgeon and a parliament member from Montenegro, the junior Yugoslav republic. His full title was Federal Secretary for Labor, Health and Social Policies.

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