UN war crimes court suspended after Slobodan commits suicide
SPUTNIK – UN judges have suspended an appeal hearings on war crimes after one of the suspects allegedly “takes poison” upon a guilty verdict.
During an appeal judgment at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) 72-year-old former Bosnian Croat military leader Slobodan Praljak drank something which is alleged to be poison from a small bottle after judjes announced his 20-year jail sentence, AFP reported.
“I am not a war criminal, I oppose this conviction,” Praljak told the court before drinking from a flask.
Praljak’s lawyer Natasa Faveau-Ivanovic consequently confirmed that his client “drank poison this morning.”
The hearing was immediately suspended after the incident and the judge called for an ambulance.
Praljak was taken out of the courtroom and security service ordered that “nobody touches a bottle.”
Hours after the court spokesperson announced that Praljak is still “alive” and is currently being under medical treatment, Croatian state news agency HINA reported that suspect had died.
The courtroom where Praljak has reportedly swallowed poison has been dubbed “crime scene,” with police conducting investigation into the incident, Reuters reported, citing a UN judge.
Praljak is one of six former Bosnian Croat wartime commanders convicted of murdering Muslims during Bosnia’s war who were due to hear their verdicts today.
Previously, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia found former leader of Bosnian Serbs and military commander Ratko Mladic guilty of the involvement in the Srebrenica massacre and committing crimes against humanity and sentenced him to life in prison.Wednesday’s hearing was the last judgment by the UN war crimes tribunal before it closes next month.