Slobodan Milosevic’s remaining supporters are expected to pay their last respects to the former Serbian president at a little-known museum in Belgrade over the next couple of days. His body arrived at Belgrade airport yesterday ahead of a private burial in his home town, rather than the state funeral sought by officials from his Socialist Party.
A few hundred mourners outside the airport placed wreaths on the hearse as it drove by. It was almost five years after Milosevic was extradited to the Netherlands, where he had been standing trial for war crimes. The Socialists plan to display the casket on Saturday in a tent outside the old federal parliament in the heart of the capital.
It is the same street that in 2000 overflowed with anti-Milosevic protesters shouting: “He’s finished”. In their heyday the Socialists dominated political life in Serbia; now they have just 22 seats in parliament out of 250. Supporters left flowers on the gates of the houses owned by Milosevic in his provincial home town of Pozarevac, some 80 kilometres east of Belgrade.
It is still unclear whether his widow Mira Markovic would attend the funeral. She faces charges of corruption in Serbia. A Belgrade court has suspended an arrest warrant against her but said she would have to surrender her passport. In Sarajevo, hundreds of Bosnian Serbs signed a book of condolences for Milosevic. It will be presented to his family before the funeral on Saturday.