The dramatic moment that took place this week in The Hague seemed like something out of a Cold War spy novel: the 20-year prison sentence of a war criminal was kept, which led him to declare his innocence, throw a vial of liquid, proclaim that he had poisoned himself, and die soon after.
Now, it seems that what the Croatian military commander of Bosnia Slobodan Praljak said was poison could have been potbadium cyanide.
Preliminary results of the autopsy published by Dutch officials report Friday that he died of heart failure and that potbadium cyanide was found in his blood.
"This has resulted in a heart failure, which is indicated as the suspected cause of death," Dutch prosecutors said Friday, citing the results.
Just a few seconds after a US judge UU Confirming his 20-year sentence for war crimes on Wednesday, the 72-year-old former philosophy professor and theater director who later became a war general shouted, "Slobodan Praljak is not a war criminal. court ".
He then withdrew his head and consumed what might have been potbadium cyanide from a small brown glbad bottle. Then he announced: "I have taken poison."
The episode was broadcast live on the court website and in the Balkans before a judge stopped the hearing and Praljack was transferred to a nearby hospital in the Netherlands, where he died later.
In its ruling, the judges reaffirmed that Praljack was guilty of crimes that included murder, persecution and inhumane treatment as part of a plan to establish a Croatian entity in Bosnia in the early 1990s. They also reaffirmed the sentence of 20 years initially issued in May 2013.
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Dutch authorities are investigating how Praljack smuggled poison into the court
Potbadium cyanide disrupts the body's ability to use oxygen, causing unconsciousness or death by suffocation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition to whole-body toxicity, ingestion of potbadium cyanide usually causes nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain and corrosion of the lining of the stomach and esophagus, according to the CDC.
In a similar suicide related to the war crime, the Nazi leader Hermann Goring, Hitler's designated successor in all his offices, was able to obtain a cyanide capsule that he used to avoid execution during the Nuremberg trials of 1946..
Potbadium cyanide was used in 1982 Tylenol poisonings that killed seven people in Chicago and four suburbs within three days.
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The incidents caused a national scare in which an incalculable number of people threw their medicine and stored Tylenol removed from their shelves in the whole country. The intoxications later led to the widespread adoption of tamper-resistant packaging, which has since become standard.
No suspect has been charged or convicted of the poisonings.