War criminal dies after taking poison in United Nations court

30 November, 2017, 13:50 | Author: Malcolm Fuller
  • Former military commander Praljak drinking liquid International Criminal Tribunal. | AFP

After drinking Praljak told the court: "I am not a war criminal, I oppose this conviction".

Slobodan Praljak, a former Bosnian Croat general, drank the liquid after the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia upheld his 20-year sentence, report the New York Times, the Guardian, CNN, the BBC and NPR.

Slobodan Praljak, 72, tilted back his head and took a swing from a flask or glass as the judge read out the verdict.

Tribunal spokesman Nenad Golcevski, when asked by AP if he could confirm the death, said: "I have no information to share at this point".

Slobodan Milosevic, the former Serbian leader, died of a heart attack in his jail cell in 2006, while his own ICTY trial was underway.

Among the officials was former defense minister Jadranko Prlic, who had been convicted of participating in a criminal enterprise by the Croatian government of late President Franjo Tudjmano to create an ethnically pure state.

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Slobodan Praljak, 72, died in hospital, with the United Nations court announcing that the courtroom was now "a crime scene", the BBC said.

Courtroom proceedings at The Hague are "typically tightly controlled", the Times says.

In 2013, he was sentenced for crimes in the city of Mostar during the Bosnian war from 1992-95. Judges did overturn some of his convictions, but refused to reduce his overall sentence.

They were convicted for their involvement in a campaign to drive Muslims out of a would-be Bosnian Croat ministate in Bosnia in the early 1990s.

Set up by mandate of the UN Security Council in 1993, the ICTY is due to close when its mandate expires at the end of the year.

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