Slobodan Praljak has killed himself in court by drinking a vial of poison. He declared his innocence after hearing his sentence of 20 years in prison would be upheld, then drank the poison with cameras rolling. The court was cleared and medical assistance was rendered, but Praljak was declared dead soon after.
It’s an unprecedented event for The Hague where five other war criminals are being tried for their engagement in the bloody Yugoslavian break-up of the 1990s. An investigation has been opened into who gave him the poison and how he was able to get it into the courtroom.
“During the public pronouncement of the appeal judgement the appeals chamber confirmed his conviction and affirmed Mr Praljak’s sentence of 20 years of imprisonment. Immediately thereafter, Mr Praljak drank a liquid while in court, and quickly fell ill.
“Mr Praljak was immediately assisted by the ICTY medical staff. Simultaneously an ambulance was summoned. Mr Praljak was transported to a nearby hospital to receive further medical assistance where he passed.