THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) – The Latest on rulings at the U.N. war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (all times local):
Dutch emergency services, police, a fire truck and an ambulance have parked outside the U.N. war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and what appeared to be firefighters, some of them wearing oxygen tanks, have entered the court after one of the defendants claimed to have drunk poison.
The court building was not evacuated. A ramp that would allow a stretcher to be wheeled out was laid down the court steps.
Slobodan Praljak claimed to have taken the poison just after his 20-year sentence was upheld by appeals judges.
Three out of six suspects at the last case at the war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia have had their sentences confirmed, although some of their convictions were overturned by appeal judges.
The hearing was suspended, however, after one of the three, Slobodan Praljak, claimed to have drunk poison and shouted that he was not a war criminal, after his 20-year sentence was upheld.
The six Bosnian Croat political and military leaders had appealed against their convictions for involvement in crimes as Croat forces attempted to carve out a Croat ministate in Bosnia by driving Muslims from towns and villages during the 1992-95 war.
United Nations judges have suspended an appeals hearing after one of the suspects drank from a small bottle in court and claimed to have taken poison.
Slobodan Praljak, a former commander of Bosnian Croat forces in Bosnia’s 1992-95 war, drank from a small bottle or glass and yelled “I am not a war criminal” moments after judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia had confirmed his 20-year sentence on appeal Wednesday.
A United Nations war crimes tribunal is handing down its last judgment in an appeal by six Bosnian Croat political and military leaders who were convicted in 2013 of persecuting, expelling and murdering Muslims during Bosnia’s war.
Wednesday’s hearing is the final case to be completed at the groundbreaking International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia before it closes its doors next month. 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. It indicted 161 suspects and convicted 90 of them.
The original conviction said that late-Croat President Franjo Tudjman was a key member of a plan to create a Croat mini-state in Bosnia.