Convicted War Criminal Swallows Fatal Poison in Court After Verdict

30 November, 2017, 14:23 | Author: Nina Hammond
  • Slobodan Praljak poison claim

He was appealing his punishment before Wednesday's hearing confirmed his 20 year sentence for involvement in driving out Bosnian Muslims of a potential Bosnian Croat state. During the hearing after he learned that his sentence would be upheld, he lifted a vial to his lips and drank the contents, announcing, "I have taken poison".

Slobodan Praljak, 72, shouted a declaration that he is not a war criminal before downing an unknown substance from a small bottle.

"Slobodan Praljak is not a war criminal. I oppose this conviction".

The astonishment on the face of the presiding judge as Praljak responded to his sentence by drinking a deadly draft made clear just how extraordinary the breach was - reminiscent of Goering's death by cyanide capsule on the eve of his execution in 1946.

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A United Nations war crimes tribunal upheld the convictions Wednesday of six Bosnian and Croat political and military leaders who were convicted in 2013 of war crimes during the 1990's.

Among the officials was former defense minister Jadranko Prlic, who had been convicted of participating in a criminal enterprise by the Croatian government of late President Franjo Tudjmano to create an ethnically pure state.

Courtroom proceedings at The Hague are "typically tightly controlled", the Times says.

Praljak - one of six former Bosnian Croat political and military leaders appearing before the appeal court - had been convicted of ordering the destruction of Mostar's 16th century bridge in November 1993.

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