PM Oreskovic: Man arrested in Belgrade isn't Croatian spy

Commenting on reports about the arrest of an alleged Croatian spy in Belgrade, caretaker Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic said on Saturday that according to information from the Croatian Security and Intelligence Agency (SOA) the arrested man was not a Croatian spy, he had been a major in the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) and at the time of Croatia's Homeland War fought against Croatia, and he held both Croatian and Serbian citizenship.

Oreskovic told Croatian Television that he expected more information from the Croatian Foreign Ministry, expressing hope that this was not yet another act of provocation by Serbia.

"... the man we are talking about is not a Croatian spy. We only know that he was a major in the JNA, that he fought against Croatia, and that he holds both Croatian and Serbian citizenship," Oreskovic said.

He added that he was in touch with Foreign Minister Miro Kovac, who was on a visit to Bratislava today and would meet there with his Serbian counterpart Ivica Dacic.

We are waiting for more information, he said.

Asked by reporters if this could be a canard by the Serbian side amidst strained diplomatic relations between Croatia and Serbia, Oreskovic said that he hoped this was not yet another act of provocation.

Earlier in the day, Foreign Minister Miro Kovac said in Bratislava that Croatia had not received any formal notification from the Serbian side about the arrest of a Croatian citizen in Belgrade, suspected of espionage.

Kovac described the report as an "episode in a third-rate soap opera".

The prosecutorial authorities in Belgrade said on Friday that the security-intelligence agency BIA had arrested a man, holding both Croatian and Serbian citizenship, on suspicion of espionage.

The prosecutorial authorities said that the man had lived and worked in Croatia until 1990 and that later his residence was in Serbia.

The suspect was put in 48-hour detention after which he was to be questioned. The Serbian prosecutorial authorities said that after the investigation was completed and facts were established, they would inform the public of their findings.

Last update: Sat, 03/09/2016 - 14:38

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