Serbia Urged to Prosecute Yugoslav Commander for Lovas Killings

The Belgrade-based Humanitarian Law Centre on Friday criticised the Serbian war crimes prosecutors for not indicting Dusan Loncar, commander of the Second Guards Brigade of the Yugoslav People's Army, or any senior Yugoslav officer for the killings of Croatian civilians in Lovas in 1991.

"During the trial, a lot of evidence was produced that pointed to the responsibility of the commander of Second Brigade, who issued the order to attack Lovas, in which he, amongst other, said that village should be cleansed of a 'population that is hostile'," the HLC said in a statement.

"However, the War Crimes Prosecution Office has so far not prosecuted Dusan Loncar or any of the Yugoslav People's Army members in the chain of command," it added.

The HLC filed a criminal complaint to Serbia's war crimes prosecution in November 2016, accusing Loncar of being responsible for crimes in Lovas. The NGO alleges that no action has yet been taken.

Belgrade High Court on Thursday sentenced eight ex-fighters - members of the local police force, the Yugoslav People's Army and paramilitary units - to a total of 47 years in prison for killing 28 civilians in Lovas in 1991.

They were originally convicted in June 2012 but a retrial was ordered.

In court on Thursday, the judge said that some of sentences imposed on the convicted men were lower than the June 2012 verdict because the prosecutors did not appeal against it.

The judge also said that the prosecution did not manage to prove that some of the defendants perpetrated some of the acts of which they were accused.

"For that reason, the HLC considers that the War Crimes Prossecution Office bears the greatest responsibility for the shortcomings in the entire process," the HLC statement said.


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