Slobodan Milosevic is to be buried today, with his wife and son deciding not to attend because they “fear arrest or worse”.
Denied the state funeral his supporters say he deserved, the former Yugoslav president and war crimes suspect is to be laid to rest in his hometown.
A former Serb General facing trial for crimes linked to the Kosovo conflict was one of those who yesterday paid his respects at a public display of the coffin in Belgrade.
Opponents of Milosovic say this apparent “celebration” of his life has gone too far and they now outnumber his loyalists.
But the vice president of Milosevic’s once-powerful Socialist Party says he expects tens of thousands in the former leader’s hometown.
Observers say the funeral has turned into a contest over who really represents Serbia – the ex-president’s diehard nationalist followers or the pro-Western democrats who ousted him in 2000.