THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) – The Latest on rulings at the U.N. war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (all times local):
Nenad Golcevski, a spokesman for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia says that war crimes convict Slobodan Praljac is “still alive and is receiving medical treatment” after he claimed to have taken poison during a court hearing.
Golcevski would not confirm whether Praljac, 72, had been taken out of the tribunal building.
The hearing was suspended after the incident, but officials now say it will resume at 1315 GMT. Three defendants are still waiting to hear the results of their appeals.
Croatian state TV says President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic has decided to cut short an official visit to Iceland and the government is holding an emergency session after a former Bosnian Croat military chief claimed to have taken poison during a hearing at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal.
Slobodan Praljak appeared to drink from a small bottle Wednesday, seconds after judges reconfirmed his 20-year prison sentence for involvement in a campaign to drive Muslims out of a would-be Bosnian Croat ministate in Bosnia in the early 1990s.
Croatian officials have also denounced the U.N. judges for upholding a finding that late Croat President Franjo Tudjman was a member of a plan to create a Croat mini-state in Bosnia.
Tudjman’s son, Miroslav, said Praljak’s move was a “consequence of his moral position not to accept the verdict that has nothing to do with justice or reality.”
A court guard has told reporters in the lobby of the U.N. war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia that defendant Slobodan Praljak is alive and “receiving medical attention” after he claimed to have taken poison in the court room.
The guard declined to give further details and did not give his name.
Praljak drank from a bottle and said it was poison shortly after the appeals judges had confirmed his 20-year sentence 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.
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.