A former Croat army general, Slobodan Praljak, has died after taking poison demonstratively obstructing the International Crime Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) verdict, the Croatian news agency Hina said quoting a source in Praljak’s entourage.
“General Slobodan Praljak has died in hospital in The Hague after taking poison in the courtroom as the ICTY upheld a 20-year prison term,” Hina said.
While hearing the sentence, Praljak stood up and said: “Judges, Slobodan Praljak is not a war criminal! I reject your sentence with contempt!” after these words he drank some liquid. His lawyer said it was poison.
On Thursday, November 30, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, who returned to Zagreb having cut short a trip to Iceland, spoke of Praljak as ”a man who preferred to give his life, rather than to live, having been convicted of crimes he firmly believed he had not committed. His act struck deeply at the heart of the Croatian people and left the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia with the weight of eternal doubt about the accomplishment of its tasks”.