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Croatian state TV reports Praljak has died

30 November 2017

Wartime commander of Bosnian Croat forces, Slobodan Praljak, 72, sipped a toxic liquid during a hearing at the United Nations war crimes tribunal on Wednesday after his 20-year prison sentence was upheld, his lawyer said.

Praljak tilted back his head and took a swing from a flask or glass as the judge delivered the verdict.

Tribunal spokesman Nenad Golcevski, when asked by AP if he could confirm the death, said: "I have no information to share at this point".

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic later confirmed that Praljak had died, saying in a government tweet, "On behalf of the Government of the Republic of Croatia and on my own behalf, I want to express my deepest condolences to the family of General Slobodan Praljak". "I oppose this conviction".

The Guardian reports Praljak, 72, has died in a local hospital where he was rushed from the courtroom in the southern Bosnian town of Mostar, south of Sarajevo.

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After Praljak drank the poison, presiding judge Carmel Agius immediately suspended the proceedings and an ambulance was called.

The tribunal, which last week convicted former Bosnian Serb military chief Gen. Ratko Mladic of genocide and other crimes, was set up in 1993, while fighting still raged in the former Yugoslavia.

The former high-level politicians and defence officials were convicted in 2013 of participating in an "ethnic cleansing" campaign against Bosnian Muslims.

Praljak, the former commander of the main staff of the Bosnian Croat defense forces, was jailed for crimes against humanity.

Croatian state TV reports Praljak has died