The ICC has appointed the Chief Justice of mainland Africa’s smallest country and former UN war crime prosecutor, Hassan Jallow to probe the suicide of Bosnian Croat warlord, Slobodan Praljak at the Tribunal in The Hague.
The U.N. court ordered an independent review of “internal operations” after the ex-general’s death, who swallowed what was poison in the tribunal’s courtroom and later died.
It remains unclear how Praljak got the bottle and managed to smuggle it into the courtroom. The tribunal’s review will begin this week.
Jallow “is mandated to undertake an assessment of relevant existing procedures as well as make any recommendations which may assist other courts in the future.”
The announcement came after Croatia’s Justice Minister called into question the speed of responses by security and medical staff after Praljak, the 72-year-old former commander of Bosnian Croat military forces, shouted that he was innocent and then raised his trembling right hand to his lips and drank from a small bottle.
Dutch prosecutors, meanwhile, said an autopsy was underway on Slobodan Praljak’s body. They confirmed the bottle contained a toxic chemical, but have not identified the liquid.
Praljak was found guilty of committing violations of the laws of war, crimes against humanity and breaches of the Geneva Conventions during the Croat–Bosniak War by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
In his indictment, it was alleged that Praljak as a senior military official commanded, directly and indirectly, the Herceg-Bosna/HVO armed forces, which committed mass war crimes against Bosnian Muslim population in eight municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina during a joint criminal enterprise between 1992 and 1994.
In his role as a high-ranking official in the Ministry of Defence, he was closely involved in all aspects of not only the Herceg-Bosna/HVO military planning and operations but the actions of the Herceg-Bosna/HVO civilian police too.
Justice Hassan B. Jallow’s review aims to provide a report before the end of the year, which will be made public “subject to due process and confidentiality considerations.”