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WAR THEATRE

Bosnian ex-general Slobodan Praljak drank poison after being convicted of war crimes in the Hague

Annalisa Merelli
By Annalisa Merelli

Geopolitics reporter

In an ending befitting a Shakespeare tragedy, former Bosnian Croat general Slobodan Praljak publicly killed himself by drinking poison, after being convicted of war crimes by the International Criminal Tribunal.

Praljak and other generals led a genocidal campaign against Muslims in 1990s Yugoslavia, with the aim of creating an ethnically homogenous Bosnian Croat state. The Hague-based tribunal today upheld his conviction of 20 years imprisonment for war crimes. Days earlier, the same court had condemned Ratko Mladic, a Serbian general responsible for the Srebrenica massacre, which killed more than 7,000 Bosnian Muslims.

“Judges, Slobodan Praljak is not a war criminal,” Praljak declared. “With disdain, I reject this verdict.” He then drank from a vial, saying, “What I drank was poison.”

Video cameras in the court captured the astounding scene:

Praljak died shortly after.

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