Lovas war crime group gets total of 128 years

BELGRADE -- The Belgrade District Court has found 14 members of the Yugoslav Army, local territorial authorities and a paramilitary formation guilty of war crimes.

The entrance to the court (Tanjug)
The entrance to the court (Tanjug)

They were sentenced to a total of 128 years in prison in a case concerning the death of at least 70 civilians in October and November 1991, in Lovas, Croatia.

Ljuban Devetak was sentenced to 20 years in prison, Milan Devčić to 10, Milan Radojčić to 13 and Željko Krnjajić to 10.

Four former members of the Yugoslav Army were also convicted - Miodrag Dimitrijević got 10 years in prison, Darko Perić and Radovan Vlajković received 5 each, and Radisav Josipović 4.

Former members of the paramilitary formation, dubbed "Dušan Silni" - Jovan Dimitrijević and Zoran Kosijer were sentenced to 8 and 9 years in prison. Saša Stojanović, Dragan Bačić and Petronije Stevanović got 8, 6 and 14 years, while Aleksandar Nikolaidis received a 6-year sentence.

They were charged with killing 70 Croatian civilians in October and November 1991.

During the attack on Lovas, on October 10, 1991, 22 civilians were killed in houses and yards, and another 23 people were murdered in improvised prisons by October 18.

On October 18, 1991, they forced Croat civilians to walk through a minefield, using them as a human shield, resulting in 22 deaths. Another 3 were killed in other incidents.

The sentencing was attended by the families of the victims, Croatian Ambassador to Serbia Željko Kuprešak and head of the Humanitarian Law Center (FHP) Natasa Kandić.