Monday, 11 December, 2017

Bosnian Croat suspect 'takes poison' in United Nations court

Slobodan Praljak is seen'drinking poison Slobodan Praljak is seen'drinking poison
Edmund Wade | 30 November, 2017, 13:21

A wartime commander of Bosnian Croat forces said on Wednesday he "drank poison" seconds after United Nations appeals judges upheld his 20-year sentence for war crimes against Bosnian Muslims.

A Bosnian Croat war criminal killed himself in dramatic fashion after losing an appeal of his 20-year prison sentence before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

Croatian state TV says Slobodan Praljak has died after taking poison at war crimes court in The Hague. Praljak then proceeded to drink from the glass and announced that he had taken poison, according to the BBC. Slobodan Praljak, 72, shouted a declaration that he is not a war criminal before downing an unknown substance from a small bottle.

The presiding judge suspended the hearing and called for a doctor.

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

Praljak was convicted for his actions between 1992 and 1994, including the rape and murder of Bosnian Muslims in the wake of the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia. It said Praljak "was transported to a nearby hospital to receive further medical assistance where he passed away".

He and six other Bosnian Croat political and military leaders had appealed against their 2013 convictions for involvement in the crimes.

Gen. Ratko Mladic, known as the "Butcher of Bosnia", was convicted last week of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, and given a life sentence.

Wednesday's hearing was the final case at the groundbreaking tribunal before it closes its doors next month.

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