Friday, December 01, 2017
Bosnian Croat war criminal Slobodan Praljak died in hospital on Wednesday after drinking poison in a dramatic courtroom scene after United Nations (UN) judges upheld his 20-year sentence. The 72-year-old died in hospital after he drank from a brown bottle at his appeal judgement at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague. Seconds after his sentence was upheld, former military commander Slobodan Praljak, 72, shouted out angrily: "Praljak is not a criminal. I reject your verdict." He then raised a small brown bottle to his lips, and drank it down in full view of the cameras filming the hearing.
The hearing was then quickly suspended as Praljak's lawyer shouted out: "My client says he has taken poison."
The bloody 1992-1995 war in Bosnia, in which 100,000 people died and 2.2 million were displaced, mainly pitted Bosnian Muslims against Bosnian Serbs, but also saw some brutal fighting between Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats after an initial alliance fell apart.
Wednesday's verdict comes a week after the judges imposed a life sentence on former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic, whose ruthlessness in the conflict earned him the title the "Butcher of Bosnia".
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