War criminal Slobodan Praljak 'dies after taking poison' in court

War criminal Slobodan Praljak 'dies after taking poison' in court

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, tilted back his head and took a swing from a flask or glass as the judge read out the verdict. 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".

Jadranko Prlic Bruno Stojic and Slobodan Praljak from left enter the Yugoslav War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague Netherlands on Wednesday
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Croatian state TV later reported that Praljak had died.

Several convictions for specific crimes for Prlic and the other defendants were reversed in an appeal, but the presiding judge said "all six remain convicted of numerous and very serious crimes".

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Agius shut down the hearing and cleared the courtroom.

Praljak had received a confirmation of his 20-year sentence.

. Judges overturned some of their 2013 convictions, but left many unchanged.

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Praljak was convicted for involvement in a campaign to drive Muslims out of a would-be Bosnian Croat ministate in Bosnia in the early 1990s. An ambulance later left the building, but it could not be confirmed if Praljak was inside.

Set up by mandate of the UN Security Council in 1993, the ICTY is due to close when its mandate expires at the end of the year.

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A convicted war criminal died at a hospital Wednesday after drinking from a vial he claimed to contain poison at a United Nations tribunal in The Hague. It indicted 161 suspects and convicted 90 of them.

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