A convicted war criminal died Wednesday after downing a bottle of poison in response to a judge upholding his prison sentence at a United Nations court in the Hague.
Slobodan Praljak, a former military commander convicted of persecuting and murdering Muslims during the Bosnian War in the ’90s, died a few hours drinking the poison, according to Croatian prime minister Andrej Plenković.
Just before taking the drink, Praljak’s 20-year sentence was upheld despite some of his convictions being overturned. “Judges, Slobodan Praljak is not a war criminal!” he said after the decision as announced. “With disdain, I reject this verdict.” He then lifted something to his lips and drank it.
The trial was immediately suspended and Praljak received medical treatment. But it was not enough to save the 72-year-old, who, according to the tribunal, committed “crimes against humanity, violations of the laws or customs of war, and grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions.”