Croat war crim­i­nal’s shock­ing death by poi­son stuns tri­bunal

The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY) - - Weather -

THEHAGUE, NETHER­LANDS » Sec­onds af­ter a U.N. judge con­firmed his 20-year war crimes sen­tence on Wed­nes­day, for­mer Bos­nian-Croat mil­i­tary com­man­der Slo­bo­dan Pral­jak shouted, “I am not a war crim­i­nal!” threw back his head, drank from a small bot­tle and told the court he had taken poi­son. Pral­jak was rushed to a nearby hospi­tal, where he died.

Im­ages of the 72-year-old for­mer phi­los­o­phy pro­fes­sor and the­ater direc­tor who be­came a wartime gen­eral shout­ing and drink­ing what he said was poi­son were streamed live on the court web­site and in the Balkans.

It was the last case at the In­ter­na­tional Crim­i­nal Tri­bunal for the for­mer Yu­goslavia. Judges up­held sen­tences from 10to 25 years against Pral­jak and five other Bos­nian Croat po­lit­i­cal and mil­i­tary lead­ers for their part in a plan linked to Croa­tia’s late for­mer Pres­i­dent Franjo Tud­j­man to vi­o­lently carve out a Croat-dom­i­nated mini-state in Bos­nia in the Balkan wars by killing and abus­ing Mus­lims.

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