War crimes defendant opposes conviction, ‘drinks poison’ in court

Slobodan Praljak said on Wednesday he ‘drank poison’ seconds after UN appeals judges upheld his 20-year sentence for war crimes against Bosnian Muslims.

A screengrab purporting to show wartime commander of Bosnian Croat forces Slobodan Praljak drinking what he said was poison in court.

THE HAGUE - A wartime commander of Bosnian Croat forces said on Wednesday he “drank poison” seconds after UN appeals judges upheld his 20-year sentence for war crimes against Bosnian Muslims.

Slobodan Praljak, 72, tilted back his head and took a swing from a flask or glass as the judge read out the verdict.

“I just drank poison,” he said. “I am not a war criminal. I oppose this conviction.”

WATCH: War crimes suspect drinks 'poison' during hearing

The presiding judge suspended the hearing and called for a doctor. An ambulance was at the building and paramedics raced up to the courtroom.

It was the last judgment by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), established by the United Nations in 1993 before it closes next month.