On 18 October 1991, a few days after entering Lovas, aggressor forces chose a group of 51 residents and forced them into a minefield, where 21 were killed and 14 wounded.
“I hope that those responsible will be brought to justice one day,” said Vukovar-Srijem County head Damir Dekanić.
Lovas Municipality head Tanja Cirba said 89 Lovas residents were killed in the Homeland War and that one of the most horrific crimes took place in that minefield. “On that day, another 23 Lovas residents were killed in their houses, garages, and basements.”
Justice for the Lovas crimes is far from being served because those who organized and ordered them have not been punished, said Staša Zajović of the Women in Black association from Belgrade.
“We are very worried because dealing with the past in Serbia has been stopped and strong propaganda glorifying war criminals is at work,” she said.
In 2007, the Belgrade District Court opened an investigation into 14 people suspected of war crimes against 69 Lovas civilians and an indictment was filed.
In 2012, 14 were found guilty for the deaths of 41 civilians and sentenced to prison terms ranging from four to 20 years. An appellate court quashed the sentence in 2013. A new indictment covered 32 civilian victims due to the deaths of five defendants and a lack of evidence.
In the retrial, the Belgrade Appellate Court acquitted Željko Krnjajić and Milan Devčić and reduced the sentences against Saša Stojanović, Darko Perić, Radovan Vlajković, Radisav Josipović, Jovan Dimitrijević, and Zoran Kosijer. The sentences were reduced to three to six years.
The victims’ families and the Lovas municipal authorities are dissatisfied and bitter at such low sentences.
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