A former Bosnian Croat Army general died after drinking poison at a United Nations tribunal at The Hague in Netherlands on Wednesday, Croatian state TV HRT reported. Slobodan Praljak was convicted by an international tribunal of war crimes during the Croat-Bosniak war in the early 1990s, and sentenced to 20 years in jail in 2013.
On Wednesday, the Hague tribunal upheld the sentence. After which Praljak shouted, “Praljak is not a criminal. I reject your verdict.” He then drank a phial of poison in full view of the cameras filming the hearing, The Guardian reported. He was taken to a hospital but died there.
Praljak was convicted of ordering the destruction of a 16th century bridge in the Bosnian municipality of Mostar in November 1993, which judges in 2013 had said “caused disproportionate damage to the Muslim civilian population”, The Guardian reported. He also failed to make any serious efforts to stop Croatian soldiers from rounding up Muslims in the Prozor municipality, and to act on information that murders were being planned, the 2013 tribunal had said, according to BBC.
Five other former Bosnian Croat political and military leaders were also presented before the Hague tribunal on Wednesday.
The Bosnian war, which took place between 1992 and 1995, caused the deaths of over one lakh people and displaced at least 22 lakh.