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Saturday, 7 July, 2001, 03:30 GMT 04:30 UK
Milosevic's wife bids for visa
Mira Markovic, wife of Slobodan Milosevic
Mira Markovic wants a visa for herself and a friend
Mira Markovic, wife of war crimes suspect Slobodan Milosevic, has applied for a Dutch visa to enable her to visit her husband at the UN war crimes tribunal, Holland's foreign ministry said.

Ministry spokesman Bart Jochems said she had also applied for a visa for another person.

He said there was a good chance both visas, allowing access strictly to the court, could be issued some time next week.

Mr Jochems said the second person, who was not named, could be the daughter or daughter-in-law of the former Yugoslav president.

Slobodan Milosevic who refused to recognise the court's authority on Tuesday
Mr Milosevic was defiant at his first court appearance

European Commission spokesman Gunnar Wiegand said that Ms Markovic could travel to The Hague to visit Mr Milosevic despite her name being on an EU visa ban list.

Mr Wiegand said the Netherlands could issue the visa under arrangements made with the UN's International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY), which is holding the former Yugoslav leader.

Ms Markovic's name follows that of Milosevic and their daughter-in-law Milica Gajic-Milosevic on a list of 13 individuals to be denied visas to travel to any of the 15 EU member states.

Hague apartment

Mr Milosevic is accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Kosovo prior to June 1999, when the mainly ethnic Albanian province was put under UN administration following a 78-day Nato air war against his regime.

On Tuesday, ICTY spokesman Christian Chartier confirmed that Ms Markovic had asked the tribunal to intervene to enable her to come to The Hague despite the EU travel ban.

She reportedly wants to rent an apartment in The Hague for the duration of her husband's trial.

Mr Milosevic was defiant at his first court appearance on Tuesday. He appeared without a lawyer, refused to enter a plea and refused to recognise the court's authority.

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See also:

13 Apr 01 | Europe
Milosevic back in jail
09 Oct 00 | Europe
Profile: Marko Milosevic
10 Apr 01 | Europe
What next for Mira Markovic?
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