BELGRADE, Serbia-Montenegro – A Belgrade court issued another arrest warrant for Slobodan Milosevic's wife after she failed twice to appear for trial in a case of alleged abuse of power during the former president's rule, court officials said Friday.
District Court also ordered an unspecified period of detention for Mirjana Markovic, sought by police for questioning in connection with the slaying of a communist-era Serbian president, Ivan Stambolic, in 2000.
Court officials said Markovic was charged with inciting state officials to abuse their position, and that she did not show up Thursday for the start of the trial. It was the second time Markovic disobeyed the court order, the court said.
Markovic is believed to be in Russia, where she fled in February. She has refused to return to be questioned regarding the Stambolic case, and it was not immediately clear whether she had been informed about the second arrest warrant.
During Milosevic's 13-year rule in Serbia, Markovic was a close companion who wielded considerable power and influence on matters of state.
After Milosevic's ouster in 2000 and his extradition a year later to the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, Markovic remained in Serbia. She had faced only the power abuse charges despite allegations of other wrongdoing.
Stambolic's remains were discovered last month during an investigation into March 12 assassination of Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic.
Police have said that Stambolic was killed by paramilitary troops loyal to Milosevic. Serbian government officials have accused Milosevic and Markovic of ordering the slaying.