Milosevic's widow buried at family home

The ashes of Mirjana Markovic have been buried in her husband Slobodan Milosevic's grave in Serbia.
The ashes of Mirjana Markovic have been buried in her husband Slobodan Milosevic's grave in Serbia.

Serbia's "Lady Macbeth" has been buried with her husband, the late strongman Slobodan Milosevic.

Several dozen supporters attended the funeral of Mirjana Markovic, the widow of Milosevic.

Markovic's ashes were placed in her husband's grave in the backyard of the family house in the central Serbian town of Pozarevac.

Milosevic was buried there in 2006 after he died in the middle of his trial on genocide charges at a UN war crimes tribunal.

The couple's son, Marko, and daughter, Marija, did not attend the burial on Saturday. Those who did included a former president of neighbouring Montenegro, members of Milosevic's Socialist Party and others.

Markovic, 76, died last week in Russia, where she had been granted asylum.

Serbia's former first lady, dubbed the "Lady Macbeth" of the Balkans because of the huge influence she had on her husband, had fled to Russia in 2003 after Milosevic was ousted from power in a popular revolt and handed over to the war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands.

Markovic, who had been a sociology professor at Belgrade University, served as leader of a neo-Communist party during her husband's presidency in the 1990s, a coalition partner with a major influence on Milosevic.

Often wearing a trademark plastic flower in her hair, Markovic was known for "diaries" she published in local newspapers that were widely read because they often predicted future political moves by her husband.

Milosevic is widely considered the politician most responsible for the bloody break-up of the former Yugoslavia that resulted in the deaths of at least 120,000 people in wars in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo during the early 1990s. The wars devastated the Balkans, forcing millions to flee their homes.

Markovic was sought for questioning in the killings of Milosevic's political opponents during his autocratic rule but Russia refused to extradite her to Serbia.

Although she was never formally charged, Markovic was widely suspected of playing a role in the 1999 assassination of prominent Belgrade newspaper editor Slavko Curuvija, who was gunned down during the NATO bombing of Serbia. Markovic had publicly accused him of supporting the Western military alliance's attacks.

A Serbian court recently convicted four former state security members of slaying Curuvija but the court did not reveal who ordered the editor's slaying.

Australian Associated Press