War crimes convict Slobodan Praljak died of cyanide poisoning

War crimes convict Slobodan Praljak died of cyanide poisoning

"The preliminary results of the toxicological test showed that Mister Praljak had a concentration of potassium cyanide in his blood", the Dutch prosecution said in a statement in English.

Praljak died shortly after drinking poison in the courtroom after hearing his 20 year conviction for war crimes upheld on November 29, raising questions of how he was able to obtain a lethal substance and smuggle it into the courtroom.

"This has resulted in a failure of the heart, which is pointed out as the suspected cause of death".

Dutch prosecutors have confirmed that the bottle contained a toxic chemical, but have not identified the liquid.

The tribunal's review will begin next week and be led by Hassan Jallow, a former prosecutor with the UN's Rwanda war crimes tribunal.

Tribunal spokesman Nenad Golcevski said it is not the first time such a probe has been ordered by the court.

War crimes convict Slobodan Praljak died of cyanide poisoning
War crimes convict Slobodan Praljak died of cyanide poisoning

The 72-year-old was convicted in 2013 of crimes including murder, persecution and deportation for his role in the attempt to create a Bosnian Croat mini-state in Bosnia in the early 1990s during the break-up of Yugoslavia.

Two Croatian experts were also present during the autopsy carried out at the Netherlands Forensics Institute in The Hague.

Late Thursday, Croatia's Justice Minister Drazen Bosnjakovic said the country will ask Dutch authorities to be included in the ongoing investigation into Praljak's death. It is still unclear how Praljak managed to obtain the poison.

"But that was his decision, his decision", the lawyer said.

Croatia claims it has "clean hands" over the 1992-95 war in Bosnia and wanted the decision overturned.

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