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Bosnian Croat war crimes defendent dies after taking 'poison' in courtroom

[JURIST] Bosnian Croat war crimes defendant Slobodan Praljak died [press release] Wednesday after drinking what he said was poison after judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] affirmed [judgment summary, PDF, Volume I Part 1, Volume I Part 2, Volume II, Volume III], his 20-year prison sentence.

The appeals concerned charges against six individuals who were accused of being members of a joint criminal enterprise that sought to create a Croatian entity through the ethnic cleansing of the Muslim population during the Bosnia-Herzegovina war in 1992-1995. These individuals include Jadranko Prlić, Bruno Stojić, Slobodan Praljak, Milovoj Petković, Valentin Ćorić, and Berislav Pušić. Prlić is the former leader of the Croatian Community.

Some of Praljak's convictions were reversed, including charges of destruction not justified by military necessity, but affirmed other charges and affirmed the 20-year prison sentence against Praljak. The prison sentences for the remaining five defendants, which ranged from 10 to 25 years, were also confirmed by the court.

The ICTY originally convicted [JURIST report] the six defendants of war crimes in May 2013. The appeals hearing for the convictions began [JURIST report] in March 2017.

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