A Bosnian Croat leader convicted of war crimes by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia died after drinking poison as he was declared guilty in court.
After hearing his 20-year jail sentence, Slobodan Praljak, 72, yelled that he wasn’t a war criminal and drank something from a plastic cup. His lawyer then told the Hague, Netherlands-based tribunal that the defendant had drunk poison. Praljak was taken to a hospital, where he later died, according to the Croatian state news service HINA.
“I reject your verdict,” Praljak shouted before he drank the liquid during a live broadcast of his sentencing.
Praljak and five other Bosnian Croats were sentenced to terms of 10 to 25 years in jail for crimes committed when they were leaders of the self-styled Bosnian Croat state in Bosnia-Herzegovina during the 1990s war. More than 100,000 people died in the conflict among the three ethnic groups in the former Yugoslav republic, which also included Bosnian Serbs. A U.S.-brokered peace agreement stopped the fighting in 1995.
Dutch authorities began an investigation into the incident, HINA said.
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