Praljak’s ICTY Suicide Couldn’t Have Been Prevented: UN Court

Bruno Stojić, Slobodan Praljak, Milivoj Petković, and Valentin Ćorić at the Prlić Trial Judgement in 2013 Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Bruno Stojić, Slobodan Praljak, Milivoj Petković, and Valentin Ćorić at the Prlić Trial Judgement in 2013 Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The UN court in Hague said it couldn’t have prevented Slobodan Praljak from taking poison at the court and killing himself.

The poison late Mr. Praljak carried in the court couldn’t be detected without specific intelligence said the Gambian judge Hassan Jallow.

“My Review has not exposed any gaps or flaws in the ICTY legal framework with regard to the treatment of detainees at the UNDU [United Nations Detention Unit] and the ICTY premises and I am therefore not proposing any changes to ICTY rules and regulations,” Jallow said.

General Slobodan Praljak, a convicted war criminal, died after drinking poison in the war crimes court.

Slobodan Praljak was a commander of Bosnian Croat forces during the Bosnian war. Praljak drank potassium cyanide after the court upheld his 20-year in prison sentence for his role in the Bosnian wars.

The Dutch police are inquiring into the Praljak suicide case to investigate into any possible criminal activity.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) appointed Judge Mr. Hassan Jallow to investigate the Slobodan Praljak suicide case independently.

Mr. Jallow said in his report, “It is not possible to conclusively state when and how the poison came into Mr. Praljak’s possession. The ongoing criminal investigation before Dutch authorities might shed light on this. It is important to note at the outset that there was no intelligence available to UNDU staff or ICTY staff in general, indicating that Mr. Praljak was in possession of the poison.”

On 29 November 2017, Mr. Praljak committed suicide in Courtroom 1, ICTY. During the public pronouncement of the appeal judgment, the Appeals Chamber confirmed his conviction and affirmed his sentence of 20 years of imprisonment.

Immediately thereafter, Mr. Praljak drank a liquid while in court and quickly fell ill.

Upon hearing his conviction, Slobodan Praljak shouted at the judge and said, “I, Slobodan Praljak, reject the verdict. I’m not a war criminal.”

Rejecting the verdict against him, Slobodan Praljak drank from a flask and said, “What I am drinking now is poison.”


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