Croatia: Praljak cremated in private ceremony

 The cemetery at the Srebrenica-Potočari Memorial and Cemetery to Genocide Victims | wikipedia

Croatia's state television says a former general who died after taking what he said was poison at a UN war crimes court has been cremated.

According to news published on Saturday, a private ceremony was held Thursday for Slobodan Praljak, who was convicted of war crimes in Bosnia and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

In the final minutes of the last judgment at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, which closes next month after 24 years, Slobodan Praljak’s was seen drink from a small glass which was apparently his courtroom suicide. The film was broadcast on a video feed and circulated across the worldwide web.

The white-bearded Praljak, 72, was taken to hospital after drinking from the tiny glass as an ICTY judge read out appeals rulings against him and five other convicted Bosnian Croat war criminals, sources reported.

The ICTY upheld on appeal Praljak’s conviction on charges of crimes against humanity over persecution, murders and expulsions of Bosnian Muslims from territory captured by nationalist Bosnian Croats and the brutal imprisonment of 1,000 Muslims.

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic travelled to Mostar in southwest Bosnia last Monday to meet the Bosnian Croat community leaders and to try to calm passions roused the sentencing of six Bosnian Croat war criminals and the suicide in court of Praljak.

The six war criminals were former senior political and military officials in the wartime statelet of Herzeg-Bosna, and were found guilty for atrocities committed against [Bosniaks] in the area under their control.

The night Praljak died, Bosnian Croats held a vigil in Mostar, lighting candles in front of the cultural center where Plenkovic will lay down flowers on Monday.

In the meantime, Dutch authorities and the UN court are investigating how Praljak got hold of the apparent poison while in custody.