Condemned War criminal dies after taking poison in court
Slobodan Praljak died after ingesting poison when the verdict against him was announced at the war crimes tribunal in The Hague.
72-year-old Slobodan Praljak was sentenced to 20 years in prison for war crimes and crimes against humanity during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 1990s. Wednesday afternoon, his appeal was rejected by the UN Criminal Court in The Hague.
The drama arose when the sentence was proclaimed:
Praljak himself proclaimed “Praljak is not a war criminal, I oppose the verdict” while drinking the contents of a brown bottle. Soon after, his lawyer said that his client had ingested poison.
The television pictures show the chaos that arose in court when the judges realized what they had witnessed.
– I’ve taken poison, said Praljak, following emptying the contents of the bottle according to BBC.
Died in hospital
The UN War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague confirms in a press release that Praljak died as a result of poisoning.
– Mr. Praljak was immediately after the incident assisted by medical personnel at the court and was shortly after admitted to a nearby hospital where he later expired:
– In accordance with standard procedures, Dutch authorities have initiated an independent investigation, they write in the press release.
Croatia’s Prime Minister Andrej Plenković later confirmed the death and gave his condolences to Praljak’s family, writes NTB.
– His action, which we regrettably witnessed today, concerns most of all the deep moral injustice against six Croats from Bosnia and the Croatian people, Croatia’s Prime Minister stated in a comment Wednesday afternoon.
Praljak had been in custody in The Hague since 2004 and therefore had already served 13 years of the sentence of 20 years.
It is not known what the bottle of Praljak drank from contained, but it was most likely calium cyanide.