Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

War crimes suspect drinks poison at court ruling

A wartime commander of Bosnian Croat forces Slobodan Praljak is seen during a hearing at the U.N. war crimes tribunal in the Hague Nether A wartime commander of Bosnian Croat forces Slobodan Praljak is seen during a hearing at the U.N. war crimes tribunal in the Hague Nether
Isabel Fisher | 30 November, 2017, 14:22

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.

He was appealing his punishment before Wednesday's hearing confirmed his 20 year sentence for involvement in driving out Bosnian Muslims of a potential Bosnian Croat state.

Slobodan Praljak brings a bottle to his lips, during a Yugoslav War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands.

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

After Praljak drank the poison, presiding judge Carmel Agius immediately suspended the proceedings and an ambulance was called.


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.

Praljak, 72, had been in the tribunal's custody ahead of the hearing and it was not clear how he could have got access to poison or how he apparently managed to smuggle it into the tightly guarded courtroom.

Last week, the judges sentenced former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic to life in prison for genocide and crimes against humanity.

The judges were ruling in the appeals of six former Bosnian Croat political and military leaders accused in a campaign against Bosnian Muslims during the breakup of Yugoslavia.

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