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Tuesday, 26 February, 2002, 17:24 GMT
Milosevic's wife to visit The Hague
Slobodan Milosevic
Milosevic: Will be visited by his wife in March
The wife of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic has been issued a visa to travel to the Netherlands and visit her husband, currently on trial for war crimes at The Hague.

May: Rebuked Milosevic for irrelevant questioning
Mira Markovic is expected to arrive at The Hague on 7 March and will stay for the weekend, the French news agency AFP reported.

Mrs Markovic's visa had originally been refused, and a furious Mr Milosevic complained to the judges presiding over the case on his behalf that he had been mistreated.

Now presiding judge Richard May has permitted proceedings on the day to terminate at noon so that Mr Milosevic may meet with his wife, who is also his closest political adviser, the agency said.

It is the first time they will have been together since Mr Milosevic's trial began in February.

Heated testimony

Meanwhile on Tuesday Mr Milosevic continued his aggressive questioning of witnesses at his trial for war crimes allegedly committed during the wars in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo.

Slobodan Milosevic
Milosevic charges
  • Genocide
  • Crimes against humanity
  • Grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions
  • Violations of the laws or customs of war

    Click here for a full list of charges

  • The court heard from ethnic Albanian doctor Agron Berisha how he had watched from his home in the Kosovan town of Suva Reka as a pregnant woman tried to drag a wounded relative to safety while Serbian police pursued them.

    "I saw Serbian police killing innocent, unarmed civilians," he said.

    "The sole reason was because they were Albanians."

    Mr Milosevic, who is conducting his own defence throughout the trial, accused Mr Berisha of "testifying on the basis of assumptions" and not hard facts.

    His accusation brought a sharp retort from Mr Berisha, who had earlier told the court he had lost several relatives during the war.

    "I am not here to make suppositions or to make my own views," he said.

    "I have come here to testify to what I saw with my own eyes. I saw how my cousins were killed in the most cruel way by the (Serb) police, and I saw this event with my own eyes."

    Long trial

    Mr Milosevic was also ordered repeatedly by Judge May during his cross-examination of Mr Berisha to keep his questions brief and relevant.

    The first former head of state to be indicted before an international tribunal, Mr Milosevic faces charges of genocide in Bosnia, and of crimes against humanity in Kosovo and Croatia.

    He rejects the legality of the court, but after refusing to co-operate during pre-trial hearings, he is now taking an active part in proceedings.

    The hearing could last two years, with 350 witnesses set to be called by the United Nations.

    See also:

    25 Feb 02 | Media reports
    Serbian press split on Milosevic trial
    19 Feb 02 | Europe
    Kostunica attacks Milosevic trial
    18 Feb 02 | Europe
    Milosevic defence transcript
    19 Feb 02 | Europe
    The Milosevic case: Timeline
    22 Feb 02 | Europe
    Milosevic surprises prosecution
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