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Serbia says no state funeral for Milosevic -president

Written by: Staff

BELGRADE, Mar 13 (Reuters) Serbian President Boris Tadic said Slobodan Milosevic should not receive a state funeral and made clear he will not grant an amnesty to his widow who faces arrest if she returns from Russia for the burial.

''President Tadic considers that a state burial for Milosevic would be absolutely inappropriate considering the role he has played in Serbia's recent history,'' Tadic's office said in a statement yesterday.

The president will not grant an amnesty to Milosevic's wife, Mira Markovic, it added.

Milosevic was ousted by reformers in October 2000 and sent to UN tribunal in The Hague in 2001 to face charges of war crimes in the wars that tore Yugoslavia apart in the 1990s.

Markovic fled to Russia in 2003, escaping charges of abusing her state position by granting an apartment to her grandson's nanny. She would be arrested if she set foot in Serbia.

Milosevic's son, Marko, also lives in exile in Russia.

It is still undecided where Milosevic, 64, who was found dead in his prison cell on Saturday, will be buried. Belgrade media said Markovic, Marko and Milosevic's daughter, Marija, do not agree on the issue.

Supporters of his Socialist Party and the opposition Radical Party say Milosevic should get a funeral fit for a former president and be buried in Belgrade Alley of Heroes cemetery.

A prosecution case against Marko for allegedly mistreating an opposition activist was dropped after the activist reversed his testimony last year. It is not clear if the arrest warrant against him has been withdrawn.

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