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Last Updated: Friday, 18 April, 2003, 12:19 GMT 13:19 UK
Further demand for Milosevic wife
Mirjana Markovic
During her husband's rule, Mirjana Markovic had considerable power
Serbian officials have issued another international arrest warrant for Mirjana Markovic, wife of the former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.

Authorities say they issued the warrant after Mrs Markovic failed to appear in court for the second time earlier this week, on charges of abuses of power during Mr Milosevic's regime.

An arrest warrant was previously issued in connection with her suspected involvement in the murder of a one-time president of Serbia, Ivan Stambolic, who became a strong critic of her husband.

She is thought to be hiding in Russia with her son Marko Milosevic.

Mr Milosevic's brother Borislav, a former Yugoslav ambassador to Russia, lives in Moscow.

A warrant is also out for Marko Milosevic's arrest.

Milosevic family
Milosevics: Slobodan, left, in 1997 with daughter Marija and son Marko
The authorities say they want to question Mrs Markovic and her husband about the kidnap and murder of Mr Stambolic, who disappeared in August 2000.

His body was found last month buried in a ditch in northern Serbia during an investigation into the 12 March assassination of Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic.

He had been close ally of Mr Milosevic - even best man at his wedding - but the two men fell out in the late 1980s.

Angry denial

Some believe Mr Stambolic was killed because he posed a threat to his former colleague and friend.

Mrs Markovic has angrily denied any involvement in the murder, saying a suggestion that she organised the crime was a "vile untruth".

But Serbia's Deputy Prime Minister, Zarko Korac, said last month that it was a "justifiable and logical assumption" that the order for the killing came from the Milosevic family.

Despite suspicions that Mrs Markovic was involved in wider wrongdoing, she has only ever been formally charged with abuses of power.

Marko Milosevic has been accused of involvement in organised crime.

He fled Yugoslavia shortly after his father fell from power in October 2000.

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26 Mar 03  |  Europe

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