Parents of teenage school shooter who killed 10 face trial in Belgrade

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A trial began on Monday in Belgrade, Serbia for the parents of a teenager accused of killing 10 people and injuring six in a mass shooting at his school last May.

The suspected shooter, 13-year-old Kosta Kecmanovic, killed nine fellow students, one security guard and injured six others in a rampage that left the Balkan nation in shock.

Kecmanovic has since been confined to a mental institution. Due to his age, he cannot be held criminally accountable under Serbian law.

However, his parents face charges of a “serious act against general safety” for their alleged failure to secure the firearm and ammunition used in the tragic incident.

Despite defence lawyers’ requests for open proceedings, the High Court in Belgrade opted for a closed trial.

Additional charges have been filed against Kecmanovic’s father, including the allegation that he trained the boy in firearm use without proper security measures at the family residence.

The manager of a shooting range and an instructor are also facing charges.

The school shooting in Belgrade on May 4, was met with widespread horror across the country. Another mass shooting occurred in central Serbia the following day, resulting in eight deaths and 14 injuries. 

The two incidents led to months of protests against Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic, accused of fostering a culture of violence in a nation marked by the traumatic conflicts of the 1990s.

Serbia holds one of the highest rates of gun ownership globally, with a substantial number of weapons remaining from the conflicts of the 1990s.

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