MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
29 May 1999
Pratt And Wallace Convicted
The Government regards as incomprehensible the conviction of CARE Australia workers Steve Pratt and Peter Wallace by a Yugoslav military court on charges relating to the collection or provision of secret information to foreign agencies, organisations and countries under article 128(1) of the Yugoslav Criminal Code.
I have been advised that although the Court found the original charges against the two CARE workers were unfounded, the Court then decided to introduce, and convict them under a different section of Article 128. This is particularly difficult to justify. We are awaiting the formal advice of the Court's reasoning.
I understand their legal advisers will lodge an Appeal as soon as these formal grounds for the decision of the Military Court are known.
We will continue to work closely with the legal advisers in order to have these convictions overturned and both men released.
Steve Pratt and Peter
Wallace were simply working as humanitarian aid workers in Yugoslavia
and I reiterate to the Yugoslav authorities that they are completely
innocent of the crime for which they have been convicted.
|For further information:||Department - Tony Melville 02 6261 1555|
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