Milosevic applied for legal aid during his trial, claiming poverty.
By law, his heirs have to launch legal action if they wish to take possession of their inheritance. Yet his son, Marko, and his widow, Mirjana Markovic, are both on the run: wanted in Serbia for fraud, they are believed to have fled to Russia.
His daughter, Marija, is also living in self-imposed exile after allegations were made that she fired several shots during the arrest of Milosevic, who died in jail in The Hague while on trial for war crimes in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo.
As a result, his estate – which includes two villas in a diplomatic quarter of Belgrade, in addition to land, shares and the contents of private bank accounts – could remain in legal limbo for many years. Frustratingly for the government, which has said it wants to seize all his assets, there is no time limit for his heirs to stake their claim.
“If we knew their address we could force them to decide, but we don’t even know where they are,” said Savka Mangolic, a deputy public prosecutor.