The wartime commander of Bosnian Croat forces, Slobodan Praljak, died after he drank poison seconds after a United Nations judges turned down his appeal against a 20-year sentence for war crimes against Bosnian Muslims, Croatian state television reported.

The television quoted sources close to Praljak as saying he died in a hospital in The Hague.

The events took place in the final minutes of the court’s last verdict. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), established by the United Nations in 1993, shuts its doors next month when its mandate expires.

Follow the Bangor Daily News on Facebook for the latest Maine news.