Slobodan Praljak, 72, a former commander in Bosnia's 1992-95 war, drank from a small bottle or glass and yelled "I am not a war criminal" moments after judges at the global criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia confirmed his 20-year sentence on appeal on Wednesday.
The dramatic events came in the final minutes of the court's last verdict before closing down.
Toma Fila said security for lawyers and other court staff "is just like at an airport".
A court guard has told reporters Slobodan Praljak, 72, was alive and "receiving medical attention" after apparently taking poison in court. Of the 83 convicted, more than 60 of them were ethnic Serbs.
Plenkovic said at a press conference that "we have all unfortunately witnessed his act by which he took his own life".
"There was a preliminary test of the substance in the container and all I can say for now is that there was a chemical substance in that container that can cause death".
Presiding Judge Carmel Aguis quickly suspended the hearing while Dutch emergency services were called to the scene. Praljak then proceeded to drink from the glass and announced that he had taken poison, according to the BBC.
The action by the war crime suspect forced the tribunal to suspend the ruling of its last judgement in the appeal case involving six Bosnian Croat political and military leaders who were convicted in 2013 of persecuting, expelling and murdering Muslims during Bosnia's war.
He was charged with ordering the destruction of Mostar's 16th-century bridge in November 1993.
He reportedly participated in the establishment and expansion of concentration camps and other detention centres.
Although they were allies against the Bosnian Serbs in the Bosnian War of 1992 - 1995, Bosnian Croats and Muslims were also in conflict for nearly a year, with Mostar seeing some of the bloodiest conflict as the country of Yugoslavia messily divided.
"During the public pronouncement of the appeal judgment the appeals chamber confirmed his conviction and affirmed Mr Praljak's sentence of 20 years of imprisonment".
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