Mayor of Lovas thanks HLC for support in Lovas case
The Mayor of Lovas, Mr. Stjepan Milas, has written to Natasa Kandic and the Humanitarian Law Center, expressing the gratitude of the Municipality of Lovas and that of the families of victims and survivors, for their support during the war crimes before the Higher Court in Belgrade – War Crimes Department, for crimes committed in Lovas.
Dear Ms. Kandic
On behalf of the Municipality of Lovas, all of the survivors and the families of all of the victims killed in Lovas, we wish to thank you for all your effort and support. Your contribution to the execution and the fairness of the judicial process has been enormous. We appreciate it and once again express our gratitude.
Offering our most sincere regards, we wish you success in your future work.
The Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) represented the injured parties in the Lovas case, assisted the court in securing witnesses and/or victims, and enabled the victims’ family members to monitor the trial, which took four years to complete.
On June 26, 2012 the Trial Panel of the Higher Court in Belgrade – War Crimes Department, chaired by judge Olivera Andjelkovic, delivered its judgment on fourteen defendants, who were convicted of having ordered or carried out an attack on Croat civilians in the village of Lovas, on the territory of the Republic of Croatia, during October and November 1991. They were convicted of having committed inhuman treatment, torture, violation of bodily integrity (beating, wounding or causing serious bodily harm) and murder, which resulted in the deaths of 40 and the wounding of 11 Croat civilians.
The men convicted are: Ljuban Devetak, who at the time of these events was in charge of the village of Lovas and who was sentenced to 20 years in prison; Milan Radojcic, who was present in his capacity as the commander of the Territorial Defence Force of Lovas, who was sentenced to 13 years in prison; Milan Devcic, who was in charge of the newly established police station in Lovas, who was sentenced to 10 years; Zeljko Krnjajic, who was commander of an armed group and the commander of the newly established police station in Tovarnik and who was sentenced to 10 years; Miodrag Dimitrijevic, a JNA lieutenant, who was present in his capacity as coordinator of the unit of the Fourth Operational Zone, and the Second Proletarian Guard Mechanized Brigade of the JNA in the territory of the Republic of Croatia, and who was sentenced 10 years in prison; Darko Peric, a reserve captain, present in his capacity as the Commander of the Counter-Terrorist Detachment of the Territorial Defense of Valjevo, who was sentenced to 5 years; Radovan Vlajkovic, a reserve lieutenant, who was commander of the anti-terrorist company of the Territorial Defense Force of Valjevo, and who was sentenced to 5 years in prison; Radisav Josipovic, a reserve lieutenant, present as commander of the first squad of the same company, who was sentenced to 4 years; and Petronije Stevanovic, Zoran Kosijer, Sasa Stojanovic, Jovan Dimitrijevic, Dragan Bacic and Aleksandar Nikolaidis, all members of the Dusan Silni volunteer group which acted under the auspices of the Territorial Defense Force of Lovas, who were sentenced to 14 years, 9 years, 8 years, 8 years, 6 years, and 6 years in prison respectively.
The full text of the HLC Press Release The first-instance judgment for war crimes in Lovas is the result of professionalism of the Trial Panel can be downladed from HLC’s website: www.hlc-rdc.org.