Bosnian Croat war criminal 'drinks poison' at Hague hearing

Bosnian Croat war criminal 'drinks poison' at Hague hearing

The 72-year-old former commander of the Bosnian forces during the 1992 to 1995 conflict was one of six military and political officials receiving appeal sentences Wednesday, which was due to be the last session of the worldwide tribunal set up by the United Nations in 1993 with the motto "bringing war criminals to justice and justice to the victims".

"His act, which we all unfortunately witnessed today, speaks mostly about the deep moral injustice towards six Croats from Bosnia and the Croatian people", he told reporters.

Prosecutors said their investigation would focus on what killed Praljak and whether he had received any outside help in obtaining the suspected poison. I am not a war criminal.

Moments later ambulance crews arrived at the scene and a helicopter began hovering overhead.

Ex-Bosnian Serb wartime general Ratko Mladic appears in court at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Hague Netherlands
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The other defendants in the criminal case are the former prime minister of Herzeg-Bosnia (which ceased to exist upon the end of the Bosnian war and the conclusion of the Dayton Agreement in 1995) Jadranko Prlic, former member of the Herzeg-Bosnia leadership Berislav Pusic, former chief inspector of the Croatian army Milivoj Petkovic, former chief of the military police of the Croat Defense Council Valentin Coric and former Defense Minister Bruno Stoic. "I oppose this conviction", Praljak said, according to Reuters.

Carmel Agius, presiding judge of the Appellate Panel, who is also president of the ICTY, said that the chamber - with Judge Fausto Pocar's dissenting opinion - found that the destruction of the Old Bridge in Mostar was carried out for military purposes, rather than to intimidate and terrorize the civilian population, i.e., the Bosnian Muslims (Bosniaks).

The ICTY charged Prlic and his co-defendants in 2004.

In their ruling, the judges allowed part of Praljak's appeal, saying the bridge had been a legitimate military target during the conflict. It has indicted 161 suspects, of which 90 have been convicted.

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Though allies against the Bosnian Serbs in the 1992-95 war, Bosnian Croats and Muslims also fought each other for a period of 11 months, with Mostar seeing some of the fiercest fighting.

Zagreb has also expressed anger at the United Nations judges for upholding a finding that the late Croat president Franjo Tudman was part of a plan to create a ministate in Bosnia.

The aim of the scheme was to set up "a Croatian entity that reconstituted area borders and that facilitated the reunification of the Croatian people".

He was originally sentenced to 20 years in jail in 2013.

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Last week the tribunal sentenced Gen. Ratko Mladic, the ethnic Serb "Butcher of the Balkans" to life in prison for genocide against Bosnian Muslims.

His judgement had also descended into confusion when he accused the judges of lying and had to be dragged away into a nearby room.

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