Slobodan Milosevic's widow was reported Monday as saying she wants to bring her husband's body back to the couple's Serbian hometown of Pozarevac for burial, but only if Belgrade authorities waive an arrest warrant for her.
"I still have not made a decision where my husband will be buried," Mirjana Markovic, known for wielding considerable influence over her husband while he was in office, said in an interview published in the Vecernje Novosti daily.
"If I was the only one deciding, it would be Pozarevac, definitely," she added, speaking of the eastern Serbian town some 50 kilometers (30 miles) east of the Serbian capital, Belgrade . "But I'm just a hostage here of this arrest warrant."
In the interview, Markovic, also known in Serbia as the "Red Witch" during Milosevic's autocratic rule both for her Communist ideals and her tremendous influence over her husband repeated earlier claims by his supporters that Milosevic was "murdered" by the tribunal at The Hague , Netherlands .
"He was ill for a long time and was getting worse but they would not provide him with adequate therapy ... or give him a break to rest up," she said, lambasting the U.N. court for declining Milosevic's recent request to be temporarily released for treatment in Moscow .
The burden of carrying out his own defense was too much, Markovic said, and the U.N. tribunal allegedly "made everything worse."
"He was under such mental strain, every day ... working through five million pages of reading material ... without rest, fresh air and with bad food," she said. "Simply, he was systematically being exhausted and everything led to an ending such as this one two days ago."
She also accused the court of "torturing" Milosevic with constantly switched-on camera lights in his detention cell.
"This is an officially recognized form of torture aimed at disorienting a person, so you cannot sleep, work or think," she said. "You become incapacitated."
Asked why she believed the tribunal did not want Milosevic to live to hear a verdict pronounced on him, she said that the U.N. prosecutors "could not refute his innocence."
"He was killed by The Hague murderers," she added.
Markovic, lives with the couple's son, Marko, in self-imposed exile in Russia but is wanted on abuse of power charges here.
When contacted by The Associated Press, officials at the Vecernje Novosti declined to provide details related to the interview or release an audio recording.
Markovic also recounted to Vecernje Novosti her last meeting with Milosevic three years ago when she could still visit him at The Hague before a standing Interpol warrant was issued for her at Serbia's request as well as their last phone conversation the day before Milosevic's death.
"He phoned me at our usual time, around 8 in the evening," she said. "'Sleep well my darling,' he said, 'when I wake up tomorrow, I shall call you"', reports the AP.
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