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Croatia3 March 2003

Press magnate escapes bomb attack

Reporters Without Borders today deplored an attempt to kill Croatian press magnate Ninoslav Pavic and called on the government to do all it could to arrest and try those responsible. Pavic heads the country’s biggest media group, Europa Press Holding (EPH), some of whose newspapers are currently investigating organised crime.

A bomb placed under his car exploded in the early hours on 1 March in front of his home in Zagreb, injuring no-one but causing extensive damage. Police put him under protection but said they had no leads on who planted the bomb or why.

"This attack seems to be an effort to intimidate and silence journalists probing organised crime," said Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard in a letter to interior minister Sime Lucin. "We ask you not to rule this out in your investigation of the crime."

Two EPH papers, the daily Jutarnji list and the weekly Globus, regularly publish reports on organised crime. Last year, three Globus journalists came under attack. Mark Cigoj was physically attacked on 27 December, and Renata Ivanovic and Gordan Malic received threats from two major figures in the Croatian underworld.

EPH, of which Pavic is co-owner, is controlled by the German group Westdeutscher Allgemeine Zeitung.

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