Yugoslav war criminal dies after drinking 'poison' to end UN court hearing
Yugoslav war criminal Slobodan Praljak reportedly died after his 20-year prison sentence was upheld by a UN war crimes tribunal and declaring he had drunk poison.
“I am not a war criminal,” Praljak allegedly said moments before drinking from a small bottle of liquid amid gasps during the appeal hearing in The Hague, a city in western Netherlands.
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Praljak had received a 20-year sentence in 2013 for crimes against humanity he reportedly committed in the city of Mostar. Upon hearing the verdict had been upheld, the 72-year-old said: “I have taken poison.”
Carmel Agius, the presiding appeals judge, reportedly suspended the proceedings immediately after and medics were called to the courtroom.
“Okay,” Agius said. “We suspend the… We suspend… Please, the curtains. Don’t take away the glass that he used when he drank something.”
Though Croatia’s state TV has reported the death, the UN court claims it cannot confirm it.
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When asked by the Associated Press if he could confirm the incident, a spokesman for the tribunal, Nenad Golcevski, said: “I have no information to share at this point.”
According to BBC, not even the Dutch police would not comment on the report based on “sources close to Gen. Praljak.”
Praljak was a commander for Bosnian Croat defense forces. Under his governance, the UN war crimes tribunal reportedly found that he failed to make any serious efforts to stop soldiers from rounding up Muslims in Prozor back in 1993.
The war criminal also reportedly failed to act upon information surrounding the planning of murders in addition to attacks on those involved with international organizations and the destruction of Mostar’s historic Old Bridge and mosques.
- This article was initially published on AOL.com: Yugoslav war criminal dies after drinking ‘poison’ to end UN court hearing