Croatia has arrested a former intelligence chief sought by Germany, whose case was at the center of a dispute with the EU last year over the country's extradition laws.

Josip Perkovic is wanted in the murder of a Croatian dissident allegedly killed by the former Yugoslav secret service in Germany in 1983. Perkovic, who created Croatia's secret service once Croatia split from the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s, worked for Communist Yugoslavia's secret service in the 1980s.

Croatia, which joined the EU last July, initially had refused to extradite Perkovic citing local laws banning the handover. Under EU pressure, Croatia later amended its laws in line with EU standards.

Police arrested Perkovic Wednesday, as the amendments took effect. It was not immediately clear how long the extradition procedure could last.