Milosevic's widow ridicules EU lifting sanctions

AP News
Posted: Oct 30, 2014 9:42 AM
Milosevic's widow ridicules EU lifting sanctions

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Slobodan Milosevic's exiled widow ridiculed the European Union's decision to lift a 15-year freeze on assets of the former Serbian strongman, saying in an interview published Thursday that the family has no property outside Serbia.

The EU earlier this week dropped its sanctions against Milosevic's family and several of his former political associates, saying they no longer represent "a threat to the consolidation of democracy" in Serbia.

Milosevic's widow, Mirjana Markovic, who was granted political asylum in Russia with their son Marko when Milosevic lost power in a popular revolt 2000, told Belgrade's Vecernje Novosti newspaper that she "laughed" when she heard the news.

"Neither me, nor my husband nor my children had or have any property in the EU countries," she said.

She said that the family owned a family house in their hometown of Pozarevac, central Serbia, and another one in the capital, Belgrade.

"That is our only property," said Markovic, who was a highly influential political figure in Serbia in the 1990s. "Those are the only places I dream of."

Milosevic died in 2006 while on trial at a UN war crimes tribunal, charged with playing a central role in the bloody breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. During his decade-long rule, Milosevic was believed to have siphoned millions of dollars in state funds to foreign bank accounts controlled by his cronies, especially in Cyprus.

The EU decision, which includes the lifting of a travel ban against Milosevic's family members, triggered outrage among their former foes.

"If Milosevic had killed political opponents in the EU and terrorized its citizens, I'm sure the EU would not have amnestied him," said Vuk Draskovic, a former dissident who survived two assassination attempts during Milosevic's reign.