A Bosnian War Criminal Has Died From Drinking Poison In Court After Hearing His Guilty Sentence

Getty Image

A former Bosnian Croat general reportedly has died after drinking liquid poison at a U.N. international criminal tribunal in The Hague, just after being convicted of war crimes dating back to the ’90s during the violent break-up of Yugoslavia. After 72-year-old Slobodan Praljak was sentenced to 20 years behind bars, he is said to have shouted, “Praljak is not a criminal. I reject your verdict.”

He then raised a small brown bottle to his lips and drank from it, declaring, “I just drank poison. I am not a war criminal. I oppose this conviction.” An ambulance arrived within minutes and emergency workers rushed to the scene. However, sources are saying that Praljak later died in a hospital in The Hague.

Praljak was charged with ordering the destruction of Mostar’s 16th-century bridge in November 1993, which judges in the first trial had said “caused disproportionate damage to the Muslim civilian population.”

A symbol of Bosnia’s devastation in the war, the Ottoman-era bridge was later rebuilt. The city experienced some of the worst of the Croat-Muslim clashes, with nearly 80% of its eastern area destroyed in the fighting.

Praljak’s suicide was captured by Croatian cameras filming the trial. The video can be viewed here, but please note that it is sensitive in nature.

(Via The Guardian)