A Bosnian Croat war criminal killed himself in dramatic fashion after losing an appeal of his 20-year prison sentence before the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. Slobodan Praljak, 72, shouted a declaration that he is not a war criminal before downing an unknown substance from a small bottle.
The judge presiding over the appeal quickly shut down the hearing, which took place at The Hague in the Netherlands, as the area was treated as a crime scene. Medical staff arrived to the scene soon after. They were too late to save Praljak.
Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic later confirmed that Praljak had died, saying in a government tweet, “On behalf of the Government of the Republic of Croatia and on my own behalf, I want to express my deepest condolences to the family of General Slobodan Praljak.”
Praljak was convicted for his actions between 1992 and 1994, including the rape and murder of Bosnian Muslims in the wake of the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia. He and five other former Bosnian Croat leaders had been accused of trying to ethnically cleanse parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and were found guilty of crimes against humanity and war crimes in 2013. The indictment against Praljak also accused him of getting weapons for the Croation Defense Council army, of which he was a commander. Prajlak also once served as the assistant defense minister of Croatia.
It still remains unclear what exactly Praljak ingested before his death.
[Image via screengrab]
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