People to view Milosevic’s coffin

The coffin of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic is set to go on display in Belgrade to allow his supporters to pay their last respects.

Belgrade authorities rejected requests that the body lie in the federal parliament for public viewing.

Instead, supporters can view the coffin at a museum near the presidential villa where Mr Milosevic, who was accused of genocide, was arrested in 2001.

Mr Milosevic's body was flown to Serbia from the Netherlands on Wednesday.

His body was kept overnight in the mortuary at the St Sava hospital, close to the main railway station in the city.

A delegation from his Socialist Party and a crowd of supporters greeted his coffin at Belgrade airport on Wednesday afternoon.

Socialist Party officials plan to put Mr Milosevic's body on display for two days at the Revolution Museum in Belgrade.

Party vice-president Branko Ruzic told the BBC he expected a "great gathering of people coming to give their last respects".

Mr Milosevic's funeral is expected to be a low-key affair.

On Saturday, he will be buried in his home town of Pozarevac in eastern Serbia in a private ceremony, officials say.

He died in detention in The Hague last week while on trial for war crimes.

The decision to hold the funeral in Serbia ends days of wrangling over Mr Milosevic's final resting place.

His son Marko Milosevic had accused the authorities of trying to prevent it being held in Serbia.

But Serbian authorities ruled out a state funeral fearing the event could trigger an outpouring of nationalist emotion.

It is still not clear whether Mr Milosevic's widow Mira will attend the funeral.

A Belgrade court suspended an arrest warrant against her but demanded that she hand in her passport on arrival in Belgrade and appear before a judge on March 23.

Mrs Milosevic has been living in self-imposed exile in Russia, fearing arrest on fraud charges if she returns to her home country, reports BBC news.


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