A Croatian general who was found guilty of war crimes against Bosnian Muslims killed himself (see video below) during a court session as his sentence was handed down.
Slobodan Praljak, 72, was one of six Bosnian-Croatian generals sentenced in 2013 for war crimes over their roles in persecuting Bosnian Muslims during the civil wars of the 1990s that followed the breakup of the former Yugoslavia. His offenses took place from 1992-1994.
Praljak was a former assistant defense minister of Croatia and commander of the Croatian Defense Council. In that capacity, he was part of Croatian President Franjo Tudjman’s plan to build an ethnically-cleansed mini-state within Bosnia free of Bosnian Muslims called Herzeg-Bosnia.
Wednesday’s trial was his final chance at appeal. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison. “Slobodan Praljak is not a war criminal. I am rejecting your verdict with contempt,” he shouted to the court, before drinking a vial of poison after the guilty verdict was upheld during a court session at The Hague.