Man held for plot against Slovenia govt tries to explode grenade
Ljubljana — A Slovenian police officer had to frantically prevent a hand grenade blast after a man arrested for a suspected plot against the government tried to explode one, authorities said over the weekend.
Border police arrested the Croatian suspect, who had previously served time in prison and had been expelled from Germany for throwing a hand grenade in a public place, as he tried to enter Slovenia by train.
The 59-year-old was suspected of plotting to launch hand grenades at government officials in Slovenia, possibly including Prime Minister Borut Pahor, acting head of Slovenian police Janko Gorsek told a news conference.
Border checks found that he had been banned from entering Europe’s Schengen passport-free zone in the past.
Gorsek said that "during police procedure," the suspect, who was carrying five grenades when arrested at the Dobova border crossing, sought to blow one of them up.
A police officer jumped on him and managed to stop him from exploding the grenade, he added.
The man had fought in the 1992-1995 war in Croatia, said Gorsek.
"There is a high degree of probability that the 59-year-old Croat citizen wanted to launch hand grenades at high government officials when approaching state institutions," Gorsek said.
Relations between Zagreb and Ljubljana have deteriorated since last December when Slovenia blocked EU’s accession talks with Croatia over a border dispute dating back to 1991, when the two former Yugoslav states declared independence.
Pahor said Saturday however that he had been informed of the arrest late Friday and considered it to be "an isolated case."
"I do not feel under threat and I’m convinced that neither should Slovenians who spend their summer holidays in Croatia," he noted.
He added that Croatia’s newly elected Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor had phoned him and condemned any use or threat of violence.