Published: Sat, December 02, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

United Nations war crimes defendant claims to have taken poison in court

United Nations war crimes defendant claims to have taken poison in court

The court upheld convictions of Praljak and five other Bosnian Croats: Jadranko Prlic, the political leader of the Croatian province of Bosnia, along with military and police figures Bruno Stojic, Milivoj Petrovic, Valentin Coric and Berislav Pusic.

Footage from the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) showed 72-year-old Slobodan Praljak tilt his head back and drink from a small glass bottle as the presiding judge read out the verdict.

United Nations judges suspended an appeals hearing after one of the six Bosnian Croat defendants took what he said was poison, shouting out and raising a bottle or vial to his lips as cameras rolled in a courtroom in The Hague.

A Bosnian Croat war criminal has claimed to take poison while in court.

A spokesman for the tribunal, Nenad Golcevski, when asked by the Associated Press if he could confirm the death, said: "I have no information to share at this point". "I am not a war criminal".

Golcevski said: "Mr. Praljak drank a liquid while in court and quickly fell ill".

Judge Agius declared the courtroom to be a crime scene as he restarted the hearing, though gave no further details.

Victim's father kills self, defendant with grenades at trial
BBC News reported that police said the trial taking place was of three men accused of killing two people in February 2016 . In November, police in Kiev announced that they arrested two men hiding 6.5 kg of explosives in their auto .

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.

Wednesday's hearing was the final case at the groundbreaking tribunal before it closes its doors next month.

Praljak was specifically charged with ordering the destruction of Mostar's 16th-century bridge in November 1993, which judges said "caused disproportionate damage to the Muslim civilian population".

The appeals judges also upheld a key finding that late Croat President Franjo Tudjman was a member of a plan to create a Croat mini-state in Bosnia.

Gen. Ratko Mladic, known as the "Butcher of Bosnia", was convicted last week of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, and given a life sentence.

A reading of the judgement, which was also deciding on charges against five other suspects, resumed more than two hours after Praljak said he had poisoned himself.

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