Bosnian war criminal Slobodan Praljak dies after taking poison in court

02 Декабря, 2017, 00:43 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • Slobodan Praljak brings a bottle to his lips during a Yugoslav War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague Netherlands

It hasn't been confirmed whether the general did take poison, or what his health status is.

A wartime commander of Bosnian Croat forces has died after poisoning himself on live television in the International Criminal Court for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague. "The verdict was mid-way and the first three defendants had their sentences confirmed; 25, 20 and Praljak also 20 years in prison", Dzidic said. "I am not a war criminal".

Praljak, 72, was convicted for trying to create an ethnically pure Croatian state during the Bosnian war in the 1990s, which sparked by the breakup of Yugoslavia. "I oppose this conviction".

After a few moments of confusion, Praljak announced he had drunk poison.

Within minutes, an ambulance arrived outside the tribunal, while a helicopter hovered overhead.

The judge was then heard immediately suspending proceedings and asking for the curtains to be drawn.

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The appeals judgment in the case of the six ethnic Croat political and military leaders marks the end of two decades of work by the court, set up in 1993 at the height of the Balkans conflicts to prosecute Europe's worst atrocities since World War II.

A photo of a mass grave containing victims of the Bosnian War, taken in 1996.

Praljak was a former assistant minister of defense of Croatia, and later commander of the main staff of the former Croatian Defense Council, a militia operating in Bosnia.

The court ruled that Praljak was aware that soldiers were rounding up Muslims in Prozor in the summer of 1993, but he failed to make any serious efforts to stop the action. He was also blamed for ordering the destruction of the Old Bridge in Mostar, an ancient monument of Islamic heritage in Bosnia. Judges found Praljak's act to have "caused disproportionate damage to the Muslim civilian population".

Praljak was sentenced to 20 years in jail along with his co-conspirators back in 2013, though it is not clear if he began serving that sentence before his appeal.

Those appearing alongside Praljak in the court included Jadranko Prlic, the former prime minister of the Bosnian Croats' breakaway statelet, and its former defence minister Bruno Stojic.

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