BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Nobel laurate Peter Handke has admitted that he had a Yugoslav passport in the 1990s, as Austrian authorities launched an investigation into whether he legally held on to his Austrian citizenship after obtaining the travel document.
Handke, who won the Nobel Prize for literature this year, told Belgrade newspaper Vecernje Novosti on Friday that he “got the passport to travel.”
Since Serbia and Montenegro split apart in 2006, Yugoslav passports are no longer valid.
Authorities in Austria’s Carinthia province have opened an investigation into the matter. Austrians taking another citizenship need to secure permission to keep their Austrian nationality.
Handke, 76, has long faced criticism for his vigorous defense of the Serbs during the 1990’s wars in the Balkans.