Dutch police launch inquiry into war criminal’s courtroom suicide


Dutch police have launched a criminal investigation into the death of the Bosnian Croat commander Slobodan Praljak, who swallowed poison as his appeal was being streamed live around the world. The international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) has invited local police officers to conduct the inquiry into how the chemical was smuggled into the high security courtroom in The Hague.

A spokeswoman for the war crimes court told the Guardian: “An independent investigation is ongoing which has been initiated by the Dutch authorities at the request of the ICTY. We will cooperate fully.”  She did not reveal whether anybody had yet been arrested or what type of poison Praljak drank.

A Dutch prosecutor, Marilyn Fikenscher, confirmed that the phial that the convicted Croat general hid in his jacket held a deadly poison. “There was a preliminary test of the substance in the container and all I can say for now is that there was a chemical substance in that container that can cause death,” Fikenscher said. An autopsy will be carried out shortly, a prosecution spokesman said. Praljak stunned the ICTY on Wednesday when he gulped down liquid from a small bottle seconds after a UN appeals judge confirmed a 20-year sentence against him.(theguardian)…[+]