A Bosnian-Croat war chief has killed himself by downing poison during his war crimes trial at The Hague.
Confirming the suicide act, the Croatian Prime Minister, reported that the war chief, Slobodan Praljak yelled, ‘I am not a war criminal!’ before proceeding to drink the dark liquid from a small bottle seconds after losing his appeal against a 20-year prison sentence at the International Criminal Tribunal, in the Netherlands.
72-year-old Praljak, was reported to have told the court, “I just drank poison, I am not a war criminal. I oppose this conviction.”
Praljak is one of six Croatian politicians sentenced to jail for their involvement in a campaign to drive Muslims out of a would-be Bosnian Croat mini-state in Bosnia in the early 1990s.
Praljak’s lawyer was reported to have shouted; “my client has taken poison” while appealing before judge Carmel Agius who suspended the hearing afterwards.
Ambulance crew were reported to have responded in a timely fashion at the scene with an helicopter hovering overhead.
A spokesman of the court said he died after “he drank a liquid while in court and quickly fell ill.”