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The long shadow of death in the Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

The death of Praljak joins that of two inmates Croatian who took their lives in their cells, and the death of former President Milosevic

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The long shadow of death in the Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia

Dutch justice has opened an investigation to unravel details of suicide of Slobodan Praljak, general Bosnian who ingested this Wednesday a poison in International criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia (ICTY). How lethal substance came into its hands, who provided it and why it was not detected in time by security services, are three unknowns that must clear prosecutors of The Hague, seat of Tribunal. Praljak strongly rejected that appellate judges confirmed 20-year prison sentence imposed in 2013, in first instance, for war crimes against Bosnian Muslims. Standing up, he drank agitated a potion that ended his life in course of next two hours. At moment, multiple hyposes are shuffled and no one is ruled out, from visitors to relatives or acquaintances, and even members of ir defense team. Anyone could have given him poison.

Learn More
  • A Bosnian war criminal dies after ingesting poison in a Hague tribunal
  • Ratko Mladic, sentenced to life imprisonment for Srebrenica genocide
  • He has sentenced to 111 years in prison to six Bosnians for ethnic cleansing.

The security measures of Tribunal, and of prison that United Nations rents in Scheveningen, coastal district of The Hague, for se prisoners, are similar. They have metal detector arcs, screens to observe contents of clos and suitcases, and corresponding posterior cache. Praljak and or defendants, or convicts in process of appeal, live in same area of prison. Without divisions by ethnic groups, y receive numerous visits. Once in court, y go up from cells in basement to room that corresponds to m, and y have direct contact with ir lawyers. If some pills or a liquid went unnoticed this time it's something nobody explains, for now. Praljak, who was also a writer and director of Film and Theatre, committed suicide in front of cameras.

Two or inmates did so in ir cells since 1994: two Croatian, Milan Babic (first president of Serb Republic of Krajina), and Slavko Dokmanovic, former mayor of Vukovar. The first, Babic, was charged with war crimes and died on March 5, 2006. According to ICTY, n, Babic went to see him at 6 pm that day without much novelty. Half an hour later, when y checked again, he was dead.

The or case, Dokmanovic, with war crimes and against humanity against him, died on June 29, 1998. At eleven-thirty on night of that day, Dokmanovic was seen alive by a keeper. A few minutes later, his cell remained in absolute darkness, which Dokmanovic possibly succeeded in causing a circuit breaker with an electric razor. Half an hour later y found his body swaying.

To se two cases impact that had on judicial process of death in 2006 of Serbian former president, Slobodan Milosevic, suffering from hypertension, was combined. The court concluded that Milosevic died of natural causes.

The Dutch prosecutors are silent about death of Praljak, and courtroom 1 of tribunal, where everything happened, is sealed for forensic review, Croatian press publishes all kinds of versions of death of one who considers a "martyr of Farland" — this Thursday, country's parliament has kept a minute's silence. In particular, y focus on alleged slowness of medical services provided by ICTY to cater to Balkan Wars defendants. In The Hague, eyewitnesses who contemplated this Wednesday what happened, once Praljak had taken poison and was taken out of room of view, have pointed to this newspaper that paramedics attended him re. "But ambulance took an hour to arrive and anor one passed until it was taken to hospital (Haaglanden Medisch Centrum, in The Hague)." Although y have asked for ir anonymity to be respected, same witnesses claim that y "saw blood and cries of sorrow from protagonist, who wrid."


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