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Croatian television gives dead to war criminal who drank poison in a Hague tribunal

Slobodan Praljak, the general who ordered the destruction of the Mostar Bridge, had resorted to a 20-year sentence for war crimes

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Croatian television gives dead to war criminal who drank poison in a Hague tribunal

The International criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has suspended this Wednesday reading of its last sentence of appeal, after one of defendants, Slobodan Praljak, 72 years and army general in self-proclaimed Croatian Republic From Herzeg-Bosnia, he said he had taken a poison. According to Croatian television, Praljak has died, although court has not confirmed it.

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  • He has sentenced to 111 years in prison to six Bosnians for ethnic cleansing.

Sentenced in 2013, in first instance, to 20 years ' imprisonment for war crimes perpetrated against Bosnian Muslims, Praljak has ingested an unknown substance when judges have again confirmed penalty. Next to him, were sentenced four years ago to five or prisoners, all politicians or military Bosnian, punished for forming a criminal association to create a great Croatia practicing ethnic cleansing.

Reading appeal ran smoothly when, suddenly, Praljak has shouted following: "I'm not a war criminal." Then he drank contents of a cup and his lawyer said it was poison. The session has been suspended amid great confusion. The lawyers and secretaries present in room have been lifted and translators, stunned, have closed microphones. Carmel Agius, present of room, has ordered curtains of dock of defendants to run and mysterious drink taken to laboratory for analysis. The tribunal, headquartered in The Hague, has called an ambulance. An investigation has been opened and Room 1 has been sealed because it is place where facts happened.

The judges have in turn maintained penalty of 25 years imposed in 2013 to principal inmate of group, Jadranko Prlic, former prime Minister of self-proclaimed Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia (1991). The penalties have been same as y already had for Bruno Stojic, former minister of Defense of same republic (20 years); The General Milivoj Petkovic (20 years); Valentin Coric, commander of police Bosnian (16 years) and Berislav Pusic, in charge of exchange of prisoners (10 years).

Praljak was one who ordered bombing of Ottoman bridge in city of Mostar, in region of Herzegovina. From 16th century, cross Neretva River and join two parts of city. In November 1993, he flew through air, and in first trial, he was considered to have caused "huge damage to Muslim population." Although it became a symbol of destruction of war, and was one of best-known pieces of Islamic architecture in Balkans, appeal has been accepted as an explanation of old military. He said it was "one more military target." The bridge was rebuilt with help of World Bank and UNESCO's supervision. It was inaugurated again in 2004.

According to original ruling, in internment camps for Bosnian Muslim civilians, "women, children and elderly have been subjected to inhumane conditions, without water, food or medical care." This treatment constitutes a war crime that may be most unexpected of Balkan conflict.

The six condemned led a campaign against ir Bosnian Muslim neighbors between 1993 and 1995, during Bosnian war, even though Bosnian and Bosnian Muslims had been allies. The Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia was proclaimed in 1991, but did not achieve international recognition. Dissolved in 1994, following Dayton peace accords, signed between Serbs, Bosnians and Croats, he later joined Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. While active, he imposed what his leaders called Croatian culture based on controlling media and municipalities.

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