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Convicted War Criminal Praljak Dies After Drinking Poison at Hague Hearing

An appeals hearing for accused war criminals in the Hague was suspended after Slobodan Praljak, drank what he claimed was poison.

Convicted war criminal Slobodan Praljak died on Wednesday after drinking what he claimed was poison during an appeals hearing in The Hague.

Mr. Praljak was one of six former Bosnian Croat leaders due to hear an appeals judgment from the United Nations Yugoslav Tribunal.

Judge Carmel Agius suspended the hearing immediately after Mr. Prajlak drank a glass of what he said was poison. “I have taken poison,” Mr. Prajlak told the judge after hearing that his sentence had been upheld.

An ambulance was called after the proceedings were halted. Mr. Prajlak later died at a hospital in The Hague, according to Croatian state television. Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic confirmed in a press conference that Mr. Prajlak was dead.

Jadranko Prlic, second left, Bruno Stojic, Slobodan Praljak, Milivoj Petkovic and Valentin Coric enter the Yugoslav War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017, to hear the verdict in the appeals case. (Photo: Robin van Lonkhuijsen,Pool Photo)

Mr. Prajlak had been sentenced to 20 years in prison. A former general in the Croatian Army and the Croatian Defence Council (HVO), he was found guilty in 2013 of failing to stop attacks on civilians in Prozor and other war crimes during the Croat-Bosniak War. Last week the U.N. tribunal found Bosnian Serb military chief General Ratko Mladic guilty of genocide and other war crimes.

Judges ultimately upheld the sentences of all six defendants, the Associated Press reported. It was to be the final session of the tribunal, which closes next month.

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