Watch: War criminal commits suicide in international court

Convicted Bosnian war criminal commits suicide on live television after losing appeal.

David Rosenberg , | updated: 17:45

Slobodan Praljak drinks poison on live television
Slobodan Praljak drinks poison on live television

A Bosnian war criminal convicted by an international court in the Netherlands committed suicide on Wednesday on live television after he lost an appeal.

The 72-year-old former Croatian Army officer Slobodan Praljak died Wednesday, shortly after he drank a small glass of poison after his appeal was turned down by the International Criminal Tribunal at The Hague.

Praljak served as the Croatian army’s Chief of Staff in 1993, in the midst of the breakup of the Republic of Yugoslavia, and the subsequent war between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

During his service at the helm of the Croatian military, Praljak used forces under his command to ethnically cleanse parts of Bosnia of their Muslim inhabitants to create the Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia – and unrecognized Croat-supported entity inside the boundaries of Bosnia from 1991 to 1996.

After the war, Praljak and other Croatian military officials were charged with war crimes for their role in the ethnic cleansing of Herzeg-Bosnia, and in 2013 was sentenced by the ICT to 20 years in prison.

Praljak and five other former Croatian officials appealed the convictions.

On Wednesday, the ICT rejected Praljak’s appeal.

Shortly after the decision was announced, Praljak shouted “I am not a war criminal,” then drank a small glass of poison.

Praljak was transferred for medical treatment, Croatian state TV reported, but died shortly afterwards.