Slobodan Praljak, Killer of Bosnian Muslims, Dead after ’Taking Poison’ in UN Court
Islam Times - Bosnian Croat Slobodan Praljak war criminal guilty of massacring Muslims is dead after taking poison during a UN court session.
The former Croatian army chief drank from a small bottle and yelled "I am not a war criminal; I oppose this conviction" when his 20-year sentence was upheld by UN judges at The Hague.
The dramatic turn of events forced the judges to suspend the hearing, with paramedics seen entering the courtroom.
Dutch police have not commented on Croatian TV report that Praljak is dead. Praljak was convicted of involvement in a campaign to drive Muslims out of Bosnia and create an ethnically pure Croat state during the Bosnian war in the 1990s sparked by the breakup of Yugoslavia.
Some 130,000 people were killed in the wars that raged on the former federation's territory between 1991 and 1999. Bosnia's conflict claimed 100,000 lives.
One of the most horrific incidents during the Bosnian War was the Srebrenica massacre, also known as the Srebrenica genocide. During the July 1995 incident, genocide was perpetrated against more than 8,000 Muslim Bosniaks, mainly men and boys, in and around the town of Srebrenica.
Praljak was one of six political and military figures appealing against convictions at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), which last week convicted former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic of genocide.
The six includes former defense minister Jadranko Prlic, whose 25-year sentence for involvement in the campaign to create an ethnically pure state was upheld.
Croatia claims it has "clean hands" over the 1992-95 war in Bosnia and wanted the decision overturned.
Zagreb has also expressed anger at the UN judges for upholding a finding that the late Croat president Franjo Tudman was part of a plan to create a mini-state in Bosnia.
The court, established by the UN in 1993, is due to close when its mandate expires at the end of this year. It has indicted 161 suspects, of which 90 have been convicted.
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