Slobodan Praljak today killed himself by taking poison in the dock at ICTY as his sentence was delivered for war crimes 24 years ago.
His Wikipedia page gives the basics, including the interesting factlets that (a) he was a prominent Croatian TV and theatre producer in Yugoslavia, and (b) his father was a secret police (UDBA) operative.
He got drawn into the collapse of Yugoslavia as a soldier fighting for the broad Croatian cause and then the existence of the self-proclaimed Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna.
The fighting of Croatian Croats and Bosnian Croats against Serbian Serbs and Bosnian Serbs and Bosnian Muslims in and around Mostar in that area of Bosnia was especially ghastly. I recall visiting Mostar in 1996. The buildings in some parts of the town looked more like strange moonscapes than anything artificial – they had been blasted to pieces by the sheer volume of gunfire.
As I have noted here previously, it is hard not to conclude that these ICTY trials drag on for an unconscionably long time that itself borders on ‘injustice’. Take the case of Jadranko Prlić, whom I met when he was BH Foreign Minister in 1996-98 and with no competition the smartest Bosnian man I met in the country. He surrendered to ICTY in 2004 after his indictment for war crimes ten years earlier was issued. His case is still dragging on today, now at the appeal stage.
Praljak too surrendered in 2004 and his case has finally come its drastic conclusion today. Here on YouTube are sundry Balkanites saluting his heroism or coarsely denouncing his cowardice, as suits their timeless prejudices: