Milosevic's widow, son granted political asylum in Russia: Official

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Moscow, Feb 2 (UNI) The widow and son of former Yugoslavia President Slobodan Milosevic were granted political asylum in Russia in March 2006, a senior official of Russian Federal Migration Service has confirmed.

''Refugee status was granted to the ex-President's widow Mirjana Markovic and son Marko Milosevic in March 2006 in accordance with a UN convention,'' Konstantin Poltoranin told RIA Novosti news agency confirming reports in Serbian media.

Both of them are wanted in Serbia for their alleged involvement in a cigarette smuggling ring in the early 1990s.

The mother-son duo, who have lived in Moscow for the last several years, have denied the charges, but have refused to return to the country to face investigation.

Milosevic, who led Yugoslavia into war and international isolation, culminating in the NATO bombing of the country in 1999, died in custody in The Hague in March 2006, before a UN war crimes tribunal was to pass a verdict on his role in the wars in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s.

The family was not present at his funeral as Serbian authorities failed to provide them with sufficient security guarantees.

In 2002, Milosevic's daughter, Maria, was sentenced to eight months in prison and received an additional two-year suspended sentence for possessing weapons during her father's arrest in April 2001.

Milosevic's brother Borislav, who was Yugoslavia's ambassador to Russia, also lived in Moscow, the agency reported, the agency reported.

UNI XC SLD HS1410

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