Tribunal drama: Croat war criminal apparently drinks poison, dies, seconds after Hague sentencing

Tribunal drama: Croat war criminal apparently drinks poison, dies, seconds after Hague sentencing
Slobodan Praljak at his sentencing in The Hague. (Image: Screen grab of TRT video, YouTube)

[Ed. – A strange dénouement for a strange time.]

Croatian state TV reported Wednesday that a convicted Croat war criminal has died after swallowing what he said was poison seconds after a United Nations judge confirmed his 20-year sentence for involvement in crimes during the Bosnian war of the 1990s.

In a stunning end to the final case at the U.N.’s International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Slobodan Praljak yelled, “I am not a war criminal!” and appeared to drink from a small bottle. …

Police in The Hague declined comment on the case. …

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Wednesday’s hearing was the final case at the groundbreaking tribunal before it closes its doors next month. The tribunal, which last week convicted former Bosnian Serb military chief Gen. Ratko Mladic of genocide and other crimes, was set up in 1993, while fighting still raged in the former Yugoslavia. It indicted 161 suspects and convicted 90 of them.

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