United Nations Secretary General Antonia Guterres attends the closing ceremony of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) at the historic Knights Hall in The Hague Thursday Dec. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Phil Nijhuis)
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One of the last images in 24 years of courtroom drama will undoubtedly be one of the most enduring: Croat Gen. Slobodan Praljak, seconds after his convictions were upheld on appeal last month, declaring that he was not a war criminal and drinking from a vial he said contained poison.The court – the first of its kind since the post-World War II trials in Nuremberg and Tokyo – indicted 161 suspects, convicted and sentenced 90 of them, acquitted 19, sent 13 to local courts to prosecute and withdrew proceedings against 37 .Unlike its sister tribunal that prosecuted crimes committed during Rwanda's genocide, the Yugoslav court has no fugitives on the run. Eight of the 90 suspects indicted by the Rwanda tribunal are still at large.Part of the reason the Yugoslav court is now considered a success is that it ultimately managed to bring to justice two men considered the architects of the worst atrocities of the 1992-95 Bosnian war that left 100,000 dead – Bosnian Serb military chief Gen. Ratko Mladic and his political master Radovan Karadzic.Ashdown, who testified in three trials at the tribunal, is convinced the court's positive legacy will reach into the future.
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