JANUARY 1 2014 12:30h

Ex-intelligence agent Perkovic arrested in Zagreb on European warrant




Josip Perkovic, a former Yugoslav and Croatian intelligence agent, wanted in Germany on suspicion of his involvement in the assassination of dissident Stjepan Djurekovic in Bavaria in 1983, was arrested on Wednesday morning in Zagreb on a European warrant (EAW), Perkovic's lawyer Ante Nobilo told Hina.

According to Nobilo, Perkovic was brought in for questioning in a police station in Zagreb, and also another former secret agent Zdravko Mustac was arrested and brought in for questioning on Wednesday morning.

"Perkovic was arrested at about 10 am and is currently in a police station," Nobilo told Hina on the New Year's day.

The Croatian prosecutorial authorities are expected to request Perkovic's detention. The competent county court will then have a few days to consider the case.

Perkovic's apprehension was enabled after the modified legislation on implementing the European Arrest Warrant regardless of when the crime was committed went into force in Croatia on 1 January 2014.

A few days before Croatia's entry into the European Union on 1 July 2013, the ruling majority in the Croatian parliament adopted amendments to the the legislation on Croatia's judicial cooperation with other EU members, which made it impossible for Croatia to apply EAW for crimes perpetrated before August 2002. However, the passage of those amendments was met with severe criticism from the opposition and the public in Croatia and from the European Commission that described it as Croatia's breach of obligations it assumed during the accession negotiations.

Yielding to this pressure, the government modified the said law one more time and the modified legislation went into force on 1 January 2014, providing for the application of the EAW with no time limits.