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Dictator’s widow sentenced for giving gov’t housing to grandson’s babysitter


By Agence France-Presse

A Belgrade court on Wednesday sentenced the widow of late Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic in her absence to a year in jail for her role in allocating a state-owned flat to her grandson’s babysitter.

Mirjana Markovic, who reportedly lives in Russia, was found guilty of an abuse of power that enabled the babysitter to bag the apartment, the court ruled, according to the Beta news agency.

A former government official and the head of a company handling state-run property were also found guilty.

The two were sentenced to 18 months and one year in jail respectively for allocating state-owned flats to people who were not employed by the government between 1997 and 2000.

Markovic’s Belgrade lawyer Zdenko Tomanovic rejected the verdict as “mocking the law and logic” and said he would appeal it.

According to Tomanovic, his client was charged to make the position of her husband — at the time in custody the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) — more difficult.

Markovic left Serbia in 2003. She was also suspected of cigarette smuggling and political assassination

Two years later Serbia issued an international arrest warrant for her.

In an interview in 2010, Markovic, now 75, said she did not intend to return.

Dubbed the “Lady Macbeth of the Balkans”, she is known to have exerted huge influence on her husband.

Slobodan Milosevic was ousted in a popular uprising in 2000, after 13 years of iron rule in which he fuelled brutal ethnic wars in the former Yugoslavia.

He was arrested and transferred to the UN court in The Hague in 2001 to face charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

He died of natural causes five years later while awaiting the court’s verdict. (AFP)

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