gpolit.com
gpolit.com December 17, 2017


War criminal poisons himself in court after sentence is upheld

02 December 2017, 12:41 | Rufus Hill

A notorious general from the Bosnian War drank what he said was poison in the middle of a war crimes trial

Yugoslavian war criminal 'takes poison' to end hearing at UN court

Nenad Golcevski told reporters at the UN International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia that 72-year-old Slobodan Praljak despite efforts to save him.

Praljak was trying to appeal a twenty-year sentence for crimes during the Bosnian War.

"We have all unfortunately witnessed his act by which he took his own life", Mr Plenković told reporters, adding that Praljak's action reflected the "deep moral injustice" done to six Bosnian Croats whose guilty verdicts were upheld by the United Nations war...

So far 83 people have been convicted for war crimes during the Yugoslav Wars.

Dramatic courtroom footage earlier today showed Praljak standing up before tipping his head back and swallowing a glass of something.

Praljak was one of six former Bosnian Croat political and military leaders who were up for their final appeals before the court.

His lawyer shouted out "my client has taken poison" before judge Carmel Agius suspended the hearing and the courtroom was closed.

The courtroom was being treated as a crime scene, an ICTY spokesperson told CNN.

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

Besides Praljak, who was was specifically charged with ordering the destruction of Mostar's 16th-century bridge in November 1993, the other five defendants included Bosnian Croat leader Jadranko Prlic, who appealed his 25-year term imposed by the court in The Hague, and four others, who are also appealing long prison sentences ranging from 10 to 20 years.

Bosnian Croats and Muslims were allies against the Serbs but fought each other for 11 months from 1993-1994.

The original conviction said that late-Croat President Franjo Tudjman was a key member of a plan to create a Croat mini-state in Bosnia.

"Slobodan Praljak had his first instance verdict confirmed in which he was sentenced to 20 year in prison".

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.

If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article, please call the Samaritans on (free) 116123 or 020 7734 2800.



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