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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 May, 2005, 22:21 GMT 23:21 UK
Serbia lifts Milosevic wife warrant
Mirjana Markovic (file photo dating from 2001)
During her husband's rule, Mirjana Markovic had considerable power
Serbian authorities have withdrawn an international arrest warrant against the wife of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.

Mirjana Markovic is believed to have fled to Russia in 2003 to avoid facing charges of abusing power in Serbia.

The decision means Mrs Markovic will be able to visit her husband, standing trial for war crimes at The Hague.

An official said the warrant had been lifted after her lawyer promised that she would attend a September trial.

Self-imposed exile

"The court has cancelled the warrant against Mirjana Markovic on the assurance of her defence that she would show up at the next hearing scheduled for September," a Serbian court spokeswoman said.

Officials say a national arrest warrant for Mrs Markovic is still in place and she will be arrested if and when she returns to Serbia-Montenegro.

Mrs Markovic is also wanted in Serbia in connection with the killing of former Serbian President Ivan Stambolic who disappeared in August 2000.

His body was found in 2003 buried in a ditch in northern Serbia during an investigation into the assassination of Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic.

Slobodan Milosevic has been in custody at the International War Crimes Tribunal at The Hague since 2002.

He faces more than 60 counts including charges of genocide and crimes against humanity.

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