Saturday, 24 February, 2018

War criminal Slobodan Praljak dies after drinking poison in court

UN war crimes defendant claims to have taken poison in court Yugoslavian war criminal 'takes poison' to end hearing at UN court
Andrew Cummings | 30 November, 2017, 13:48

He was originally sentenced to 20 years in jail in 2013. He says security for lawyers and other court staff "is just like at an airport." in that they take away metal objects and cell phones, but pills and small quantities of liquids can go through.

The war criminal former commander of Bosnian Croat forces died today after gulping back poison when he was told his appeal against his sentence had failed.

The judge suspended the hearing and Praljak was brought in for treatment, according to Reuters.

Praljak was one of six former Bosnian Croat political and military leaders appealing their cases in the court's final verdict for war crimes committed during the bloody 1990s break-up of Yugoslavia.

Tribunal spokesman Nenad Golcevski, when asked by AP if he could confirm the death, said: "I have no information to share at this point". Prajlak also once served as the assistant defense minister of Croatia.

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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.

Some of his convictions for actions in the later years of the conflict were overturned, but his sentence was not.

The officials were convicted four years ago of participating in an "ethnic cleansing" campaign against Bosnian Muslims during Bosnia's war.

The incident took place during the last judgement by the ICTY, established by the United Nations in 1993, to deal with crimes during the 1992-95 war. In fact, he was a Bosnian Croat commander with a militia operating in Bosnia.

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