The parents of a suspected teenage school shooter are to stand trial in the Serbian capital Belgrade from Monday, after their son’s killing spree left 10 dead, including nine classmates.
The incident last May — along with a second shooting that occurred a day later — rocked the Balkan nation, setting off major demonstrations against the government that coalesced into an opposition coalition that stood in recent elections.
The trial comes after the Belgrade higher public prosecutor’s office charged the suspected shooter’s father in October for a “serious act against general safety”.
According to prosecutors, the father had trained his son to use firearms, practising shooting and handling arms.
The father also stands accused of not properly securing his weapons and ammunition, allowing the suspect to hide a handgun and 92 bullets in his backpack that he later used during the shooting.
The accused’s mother was charged with the illegal possession of ammunition.
Prosecutors have also charged the head of a Serbian shooting club and an instructor for providing false testimony.
The suspected shooter was just 13 years old at the time of the attack, making him not criminally liable under Serbian law.
Following the shootings, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic vowed to “disarm” the nation with an ambitious plan that would crack down on legal and illicit firearms in the country.
Despite the pledge, the shootings sparked massive anti-government protests across Serbian cities, as tens of thousands of demonstrators called for the resignation of top officials and the curtailing of violence in the media.
Vucic largely dismissed the protests as a “political” stunt, and peddled conspiracy theories about foreign powers allegedly orchestrating the rallies.
Serbia has the highest level of gun ownership in Europe with more than 39 firearms for every 100 civilians, according to the Small Arms Survey project.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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