Family pulls out of Milosevic funeral
Slobodan Milosevic's family has pulled out of his funeral citing threats and a row over his grave, as a Dutch inquiry found no evidence to back claims the former Yugoslav leader was poisoned.india Updated: Mar 18, 2006 08:18 IST
Slobodan Milosevic's family has pulled out of his funeral citing threats and a row over his grave, as a Dutch inquiry found no evidence to back claims the former Yugoslav leader was poisoned.
A senior official in Milosevic's party said that neither Mira Markovic, his widow, nor his son Marko would be attending the funeral on Saturday in the grounds of the family home in Pozarevac, east of Belgrade.
Milosevic's daughter Marija said she would go to church instead, while his brother Borislav is recovering in Moscow after a heart operation.
The former strongman, who died from a heart attack March 11 while on trial for war crimes at a UN court in The Hague, will be laid to rest under a linden tree where he first kissed his future wife.
A local party official said it would be a private funeral with no religious element as Milosevic was an atheist.
Foreign media have moved into Pozarevac, 70 kilometres from the capital, packing out the only local hotel and offering money to neighbours for a view onto the garden.
In Belgrade, a senior Socialist Party official, Milorad Vucelic, said that the family had decided not to attend because of "contradictory statements" by Serbian authorities.
He was apparently referring to guarantees the family had been seeking that they would not be arrested.
But he said it was also taken "especially because of threats and blackmail" against Markovic, believed to have been living in Russia since 2003.