Croatian Foreign Minister Miro Kovac on Saturday portrayed the apprehension of an alleged spy, a Croatian citizen, in Belgrade on espionage charges, as "a third rate soap opera", while the chairman of the association of Croatian generals, retired general Pavao Miljavac, said that the arrest was something to do with daily goings in Belgrade.
Kovac, who was taking part in an informal meeting of foreign ministers of the EU member-states in Bratislava, said that Croatia had not yet received any official notification about that case, although Zagreb and Croatia's embassy had been trying to get information from relevant Serbian agencies on the matter since Friday afternoon.
"The news (of the arrest) has been disseminated to media, while the Croatia side has not been informed, This is a kind of third-rate soap opera," Kovac said adding that he had acquainted his Serbian counterpart Ivica Dacic with this position. Dacic and foreign ministers of other EU aspirants also attended the Bratislava meeting on Saturday.
Asked by the press about media reports from Serbia on the arrest of the alleged spy, General Miljavac said this was about the daily politics in Serbia and should not be given much attention.
The Belgrade-based Chief Prosecutor's Office stated on Friday evening that the Serbia's security and intelligence agency (BIA) had arrested a man, who holds both Serbian and Croatian citizenship, on suspicion of espionage, and local media reported that the arrested man of Serb descent used to be an army officer.
According to a statement from the Chief Prosecutor's Office, the arrestee used to live in Croatia until 1990 and currently resides in Serbia. He was placed in 48-hour long custody.
According to media allegations, the man fled Croatia to Serbia after the 1995 Operation Storm when Croatia liberated its areas held by rebel Serbs. The man is presumed to be a former officer of the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) and member of the Serb rebel forces in the Dalmatian hinterland. Serbian media reports claim that he accepted an offer from Croatia to spy for that country in exchange of being exonerated from the accusation of war crimes.