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Author Topic: Dutch probe Bosnian war criminal's suicide in UN court  (Read 541 times)
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« on: November 30, 2017, 03:11:02 pm »


Dutch prosecutors were Thursday investigating the security lapses that allowed a Bosnian Croat war criminal to commit suicide in front of shocked UN judges, in scenes that have cast a shadow over the court's two-decade legacy.

Staff at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague had been expecting to spend the next few weeks quietly winding down the court which closes on December 31, after the judges delivered their final ruling on Wednesday.

But courtroom one is now an active crime scene after former Bosnian Croat military leader Slobodan Praljak, 72, tipped a small brown bottle into his mouth and died shortly afterwards in hospital.

"Initial tests have shown that the substance that was in the glass was a chemical substance which can cause death," prosecutor Marilyn Fikenscher, from the prosecution service in The Hague, told AFP.

"An autopsy will be carried out shortly, as well as a toxicology examination of the body," Fikenscher said, adding she could not estimate how long the investigation would take as it was "something quite unprecedented."

Dutch prosecutors said in a statement late Wednesday "for the time being the inquiry will focus on assisted suicide and violation of the Medicines Act."

- Last act of defiance -

Praljak's last act of defiance was broadcast live around the world and came moments after judges rejected his appeal, upholding his 20-year jail term for atrocities committed in a breakaway Bosnian Croat statelet during the 1990s wars.

That is the 2nd one to die there.
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