Abrupt end to Sebastian's interview with Slobo's wife

 The BBC has denied claims that Mira Markovic, the wife of former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic, walked out of an interview with HARDtalk’s Tim Sebastian.

Despite news agency reports that Markovic – known in Belgrade as "the red witch" – walked out before the end of the interview, the BBC said Sebastian concluded the interview after 50 minutes when she told him she would "only answer the questions I want to answer".

HARDtalk producer Ali Willis said: "Tim decided that he would finish the interview where he wanted to finish it. I don’t think she said anything new in the interview, but it was a fascinating insight into her psychology." The interview, filmed last week in her party headquarters, was broadcast on BBC News 24 and BBC World. Milosevic was able to watch the interview from his cell in The Hague, where he awaits trial for genocide and crimes against humanity.

"We expect that she will have something to say about the interview, partly because we kept the camera on her while Tim was asking her about allegations of genocide," said Willis. "As he was asking the question, Markovic was fixing her hair."

While the BBC crew did not expect her to be concerned that her seeming disregard for the murders which took place under her husband’s regime was shown on air, they were expecting further criticism about the programme’s apparent lack of respect for Yugoslavia’s former first lady.

"She frequently told Tim that he was being unchivalrous and ungentlemanly," said Willis. "We got the strong impression that she was not accustomed to being questioned in any way.

"But Tim was determined not to be soft on her. There was no love lost between them and the tension was palpable." But he said it was "obvious" she had wanted to do the interview.

"Although she has done newspaper interviews, I think she had been terrified of giving an interview in a documentary which could show footage of atrocities alongside her denials that Slobodan had been involved."

By Julie Tomlin

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2 thoughts on “Abrupt end to Sebastian's interview with Slobo's wife”

  1. Your Jim Sebastian is just a rubbish. Please go back and find out how many crimes the British committed throughout history . Your intrigue has destabilized the Balkans , the middle east , East Africa and a lot of countries . And by creating a mess you create situations and people to demonize and call them ” Evil ” . Finally you act like your ” gentle man ” Jim behaving like a Judge who came from another planet . The British deserve the term ” Evil ” and Journalism nowadays is a ” profession ” of hungry minds who act like noble men and get satisfied with the suffering of mankind .

  2. To all decent Serbs who concede the abuses of Serbia and seek reconciliation with Serbia’s neighbors, my respect to you.
    For the majority, shame, shame, shame on you. You are just miniature, pathetic midget versions of Mira Markovic….rarely in the history of man, has a supposedly civilized nation been, as a whole, struck with a psychosis and such a laughably false impression of itself as an unfairly treated victim nation……
    The “Hero Victim Myth”….a phrase I coined to describe the particular brand of Serbian psuedo-historical self delusional fantasy, is alive and well in Serbia.
    From your mistaken myths about your ownership of Kosovo to your massive denial about your long historical tradition of brutality on the peoples of the Balkans (after your own very late 6th century arrival), only you (and the very few poor historians who do not even know where the Balkans is) repeat the ridiculous statements about “suffering” and “right to….(insert absurd claim here)…”
    Forget North Korea, or Libya, or the Zimbabwe: Europe has it’s moral and historical basket case: Serbia.
    When, Oh When, God, will we have a real, western, civilized Democrat in Serbia…..and not these 3rd world styled dictators (Milosevic) and neo Facists with broad smiles and a cheap suit (Tadic).
    We in the west all continue to lower our standards to try to somehow include Serbia in the larger family of Western Civilization.
    Slow down, friends, this Facist Nation has not yet grown up, nor OUT of its dirtier past.

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