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Ex-Bosnian Croat leader Slobodan Praljak has died after drinking poison at a UN war crimes court in The Hague: Croatia’s state TV.

He took the court by surprise as he brought out a liquid after making a presentation before the court and drank it standing.

He was facing the United Nation (UN) tribunal in The Hague.

Seconds after his war crimes sentence of 20 years was upheld at the international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Slobodan Praljak, shouted out angrily: “Praljak is not a criminal. I reject your verdict.”

Praljak, 72, then raised a small brown bottle to his lips, and drank it in full view of the cameras filming the hearing. “I just drank poison,” he said. “I am not a war criminal. I oppose this conviction.”

UN officials confirmed that Praljak had died after it was initially reported by Croatian television. Dutch police declared the courtroom to be a crime scene.

The unprecedented scenes came as judges were handing down judgment in the appeals case of six former Bosnian Croat political and military leaders. They are the court’s final verdict for war crimes committed during the bloody 1990s break-up of Yugoslavia.

As court officials surrounded the grey-haired and bearded Praljak, the presiding judge, Carmel Agius, immediately ordered the proceedings be suspended and the curtains screening the courtroom were abruptly closed to the public.

Within minutes, an ambulance arrived outside the tribunal in The Hague, while a helicopter hovered overhead.

Several emergency rescue workers rushed into the building carrying equipment in backpacks. A court guard appealed for calm, saying Praljak was “receiving all necessary medical attention”.

Praljak was charged with ordering the destruction of Mostar’s 16th-century bridge in November 1993, which judges in the first trial had said, “caused disproportionate damage to the Muslim civilian population”.

A symbol of Bosnia’s devastation in the war, the Ottoman-era bridge was later rebuilt. The city experienced some of the worst of the Croat-Muslim clashes, with nearly 80% of its eastern area destroyed in the fighting.

In their ruling, the judges allowed part of Praljak’s appeal, saying the bridge had been a legitimate military target during the conflict. They also overturned some of his convictions but refused to reduce his overall sentence.

The case has been keenly watched in Zagreb, and the appeal judges said that all six men, who had been found guilty of taking part in a scheme to remove Bosnian Muslims, “remained convicted of numerous and very serious crimes”.

The judges upheld a 25-year prison term against Jadranko Prlić, the former prime minister of a breakaway Bosnian Croat statelet, and a 20-year term for its former defence minister Bruno Stojić.

They have not yet passed judgment on the three remaining defendants: Milivoj Petković, 68, Valentin Corić, 61, and Berislav Pušić, 65.

The bloody 1992-95 war in Bosnia, in which 100,000 people died and 2.2 million were displaced, mainly pitted Bosnian Muslims against Bosnian Serbs but also saw brutal fighting between Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats after an initial alliance fell apart.

Wednesday’s proceeding came a week after the judges imposed a life sentence on former Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic, whose ruthlessness in the conflict earned him the title of “Butcher of Bosnia”.

The Bosnian-Croat statelet, backed by the government of the Croatian nationalist leader Franjo Tudjman, was formally dismantled in 1996 as part of the peace deal that ended the war. The “president” of Herceg-Bosna, Mate Boban, died in 1997 and Tudjman in 1999, leaving Prlic the highest-ranking Bosnian Croat official to face prosecution for the crimes.

Commenting on the apparent suicide, Tudjman’s son, Miroslav, said Praljak’s gesture was a “consequence of his moral position not to accept the verdict that has nothing to do with justice or reality.”

Nick Kaufman, a former prosecutor at the ICTY, said: “When deprived of authority over the masses and the attention which formerly fuelled their ego and charisma, such defendants can often be extremely resourceful with the little power they retain.”

The ICTY charged Prlic and his co-defendants in 2004. The six surrendered with Croatia under pressure to comply with the court in return for joining the European Union.

NAN report

VIDEO: Maina Breaks Silence, Begs Buhari For Chance To Prove Innocence

Abdulrasheed Maina, the embattled former chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, has finally broken silence on the allegations of corruption levelled against him.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Channels Television which aired during News At 10 on Monday, Mr Maina insisted that he was innocent of the allegations preferred against him.

He, however, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to give him an opportunity to prove his innocence, claiming that the President was being deceived by the people who surround him.

“Thank God our President stands for the truth, the unfortunate thing is that some people around him whom he has given trust are lying to him; this one I can attest to and I can give you instances, I can give you documentary evidence,” Maina said.

“I’m appealing to you Mr President, there are so many things people are not telling you; when I get to that public hearing I will tell you some things that nobody ever told you Mr President because I never had the opportunity to sit down with you.”

 

Maina who denied any involvement in pension fraud, however, said his team recovered about N282billion cash for the government and that his life was in danger.

He said he was ready to prove to the President that he was innocent of the allegations against him by recovering N1trillion in three months if given the opportunity.

“I recovered money for the last administration and I recovered money for this administration. Most people may not understand this but let me explain this to Nigerians because I want the truth to be told and I want Nigerians to understand the truth and know what is going on in Nigeria.

“Listen, I am not afraid of anybody, I am saying the truth. People portray themselves as if they are saints around the President; it’s a lie, they are not. We recovered as a team, N282billion cash. Aside from the N282bn, we were able to bring information and caught 43 pension suspects.

“They have threatened me, they have threatened my lawyer, they have threatened my brother, sister; they have threatened us all that I will be killed.

“Mr President, I will give you information and documents that will fetch you over N3trillion now in Nigeria, give me nine months. Within the first three months, I will show you N1trillion just like I showed you N1trillion in this 2017,” he said.

Source Channels Television

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Chidi Samuel || After a period of relative silence following its proscription by the federal government, the movement for the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB on Saturday threatened voters with death if they participate in the November 18, governorship election in Anambra State.

In a video on icirnigeria.org, that has gone viral,  the group said that anybody that votes in the election ”will die”.

“If you vote you will die. Don’t go out, stay in your house. If you vote on November 18, you will die. We are not running around for the zoo,” the members sang as they marched around the commercial town, abutting the River Niger on Friday.

“There will be no election. We will not participate, we will not vote. Nothing concerns us with any election. We are formidable.

“We are in Onitsha to tell the Federal Government to produce Kanu. They should release all the Biafrans in Nigerian prisons.”

IPOB’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful told newsmen the group will not be deterred from achieving a Biafra Republic.

“Today in Onitsha, we broke the python Buratai, Ohanaeze, Obiano and Igbo governors brought to our land,” Powerful basted.

“Anybody doubting the resolve of IPOB under the supreme command of Nnamdi Kanu is mistaken.

“We will put Anambra State on lockdown on November 18. This is a taste of what is to come. Nigeria should be prepared.”

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Ebun Francis || Security details attached to the governor of Rivers State and the Minister of Transport Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi on Saturday clashed along Trans Amadi Road, Port Harcourt.

Both the governor and the Minister have since released statements blaming the other for the ugly incident.

Below is the video if the incident

Source Youtube

 

VIDEO: Nigerian Air Force bombs gathering of Boko Haram fighters

Press Release || The Nigerian Air Force, NAF, said the air component of “Operation Ruwan Wuta II” hit a “mass gathering” of Boko Haram terrorists in their hideout at Sambisa forest area of Borno State.

The Director of Public Relations and Information, NAF, Headquarters, Olatokunbo Adesanya made this known in a statement issued on Saturday in Abuja.

Mr. Adesanya, an air commodore disclosed that the NAF conducted an air interdiction mission on a blue-roofed structure in Talala, “a Boko Haram infested location in Sambisa on October 30.”

“In the closing stages of Operation Ruwan Wuta II, the Nigerian Air Force, NAF, continued to rain significant fire on Boko Haram Terrorists hideouts, with intensive day and night aerial bombardments.

“Intelligence reports from NAF intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance platforms as well as human intelligence had revealed that a sizeable number of Boko Haram terrorists were holding a meeting in the blue-roofed building,” he said.

“Consequently, a NAF fighter aircraft was scrambled to attack the building. Subsequent Battle Damage Assessment revealed that the building and its occupants were neutralised as a result of the air strike,” he added.

NAF had on October 23 initiated “Operation Ruwan Wuta II” to support the ground forces in the ongoing counter-insurgency operation in the North-east.

The statement noted that the operation is to decimate the ability of the Boko Haram terrorists to freely operate with a view to giving advantage to the surface forces and thereby frustrate the efforts of the Boko Haram fighters to recapture any Nigerian territory.

WATCH VIDEO HERE: https://web.facebook.com/hqnigerianairforce/videos/1984076028472005/

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Ebun Francis || A video of the exchange of words between President Buhari’s chief of staff, Abba Kyari and the head of service of the federation Winifred Oyo- Ita made the rounds in the social media on Wednesday.

The video showed an obviously angry Oyo-Ita having an altercation with Kyari with the vice president, Prof Yemi Osinbajo acting as a mediator.

The duo apparently were having a go at each other over Oyo-Ita’s leaked memo where she claimed she warned President Buhari on the dangers the reinstatement of Maina poses to the government’s anti-corruption agenda.

 

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Report || Disturbing footage of a monkey being shaved by its captor has emerged — highlighting the cruel and bizarre extent of the exotic pet trade.

The slipper and pajama-wearing animal is already sporting a bizarre crew-cut and looks disturbingly human-like.

But it is undergoing yet another bizarre transformation as it is shaved by a man.

The animal even tilts its head backwards while being shaved, suggesting it has become used to the bizarre act.

The footage, which is believed to have been filmed in Indonesia earlier this year, has sparked outrage among animal rights supporters.

One said commented: ‘They don’t make good pets, they are expensive and dangerous.

‘A lot of people modify them but having the teen removed and I have seen where they get the tips of the fingers alters so the nails don’t grow. It’s cruel. Very, very cruel.’

Source Daily Mail.uk

 

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The dancing Senator representing Osun West Senatorial district, Ademola Adeleke recently took his dancing shoes to the United States of America where he outperformed the resident choir to the admiration of the congregation…