A Croatian official said his secessionist republic would defy an order from the federal army and refuse to arrest Croatia's defense minister, accused of plotting an uprising.

By issuing the arrest warrant, the military "wants to execute pressure" on Croatia ahead of a crucial meeting Thursday of the leaders of Yugoslavia's six republics, said Slaven Letica, an adviser to Croatian President Franjo Tudjman. "Croatian police will not arrest Croatian ministers," he said.Letica spoke after Tudjman called an emergency meeting of the regional government to discuss the charges against Martin Spegelj, alleged in a military documentary to have called for the killing of federal army officers.