Video: War criminal poisons himself in court after sentence is upheld
A former Bosnian Croat general died after drinking a vial of poison when his 20-year sentence for war crimes was upheld at the Hague on Wednesday.
“Slobodan Praljak is not a war criminal,” the former general declared after his sentence was upheld. “With disdain, I reject this verdict.”
Praljak then tilted his head back and downed a small amount of dark liquid as the presiding judge asked him to “stop” and “sit down.” Judge Carmel Agius attempted to go on with the court proceedings, but Praljak then revealed, “What I drank was poison,” a message that is then relayed to Agius by Praljak’s lawyers. The courtroom devolved into chaos and Agius briefly suspended the proceedings.
Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković confirmed Praljak’s death.
In 2013, Praljak and five others were found guilty for their involvement in a campaign to drive Bosnian Muslims out of their homes in the early 1990s during the dissolution of Yugoslavia. Before joining the military in 1991, Praljak spent most of his adult life working as a theater director, which would perhaps explain his dramatic display.
Praljak and his co-conspirators all had their sentences upheld on Wednesday, despite some of the lesser convictions being overturned.