War crimes convict Slobodan Praljak died of cyanide poisoning


Paramedics were seen entering the courtroom. A total of 100,000 people died and 2.2 million were displaced in the three-year war.

Praljak's defense lawyer, Nika Pinter, told Croatia's Nova TV she did not know how Praljak managed to get the bottle past security. “She confirmed that he drank the poison and that he is in a very grave health condition, ” he said.

Tribunal spokesman Nenad Golcevski said it is not the first time such a probe has been ordered by the court.

Praljak, on trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity, died in hospital on Wednesday after drinking what he claimed to be a poison in The Hague, shortly after the panel confirmed upholding his 2013 sentence of 20 years in prison.

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The U.N. Yugoslav tribunal on Friday said it has launched its own independent review into the death of former Bosnian Croat military leader Slobodan Praljak. Praljak committed suicide in the final minutes of the last verdict at the court before it closes later this month. It aims to file a report by December 31, when the tribunal formally closes its doors, having completed all its cases. Slavko Dogmanovic died in 1998 and Milan Babi? was found dead in his locked cell in 2006.

The court said on Friday that its inquiry would be led by Hassan B. Jallow, the chief justice of Gambia and a former prosecutor at a tribunal responsible for war crimes in Rwanda. Praljak pleaded not guilty and filed an appeal.

Questions have been raised over the fairness of the global prosecution of crimes committed during the Balkan Wars. It has indicted 161 suspects, of which 90 have been convicted. Two years ago, Russian Federation used its United Nations veto right to block a resolution on the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica tragedy, saying that the draft document depicted the Serbian people as the sole guilty party in the complex armed conflict in Yugoslavia.

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