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World - Europe

CARE executive 'deeply concerned' about Serb questioning of aid worker

Pratt & CARE id
Serbian TV broadcast Pratt's 'confession'

Report: 400,000 homeless Kosovars hiding in province

NATO: Aerial photo may show mass graves in Kosovo

Congress faces debate over ground troops in Kosovo


April 11, 1999
Web posted at: 4:58 p.m. EDT (2058 GMT)

CANBERRA, Australia (CNN) -- CARE Australia's chief executive said Sunday he was "deeply concerned by the nature of the interrogation" of a CARE worker who, on Serb television, said he was a spy.

Serb television RTS broadcast what the station called a "confession" Sunday from humanitarian relief agency worker Steve Pratt.

"When I came to Yugoslavia I performed some intelligence tasks in this country using the cover of CARE Australia," said Pratt, 49.

This is the first time that Pratt has been seen since he disappeared with colleague Peter Wallace 10 days ago in Bosnia.

"This clearly explains why it has been difficult to get any information or confirmation of why and where Steve and Peter have been held," said CARE Chief Executive Charles Tapp.

Tapp denied allegations of wrongdoing by CARE in a written statement.

"CARE Australia is a purely humanitarian organization. CARE is a strictly non-political, non-religious provider of aid. It has always been and remains so," Tapp said.

Pratt was in charge of logistics for Australia's military before retiring and eventually joining CARE.

During the broadcast on Serb TV, Pratt appeared calm and composed as he detailed his so-called spying activities, with maps showing where the alleged covert operations took place.

In Sunday's broadcast, Pratt said, "My concentration was on Kosovo and some effects of the bombing. I misused my Yugoslav staff in the acquisition of information."

"I realize that damage was done to this country by these actions, for which I am greatly sorry. I always did and I still do condemn the bombing of this country," he said.

Pratt, from Sydney, and Wallace were responsible for CARE's Kosovo program out of Belgrade until its suspension on March 22.

Wallace, 30, from Queensland, Australia, was neither seen nor mentioned during the Serb broadcast.

According to CARE, the organization last had communication with the two on April 1 as they prepared to leave Belgrade and head north to Hungary.

Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer on Friday called for Belgrade to "immediately release the two Australians and allow them to leave the country."

NATO: Aerial photo may show mass graves in Kosovo
April 11, 1999
Refugee situation improves; U.S. says some used as shields
April 10, 1999
NATO adds muscle to air battle
April 10, 1999
Price of war keeps rising in Yugoslavia
April 10, 1999
Yeltsin warns of possible world war over Kosovo
April 10, 1999

Extensive list of Kosovo-related sites
  • Kosovo

  • Federal Republic of Yugoslavia official site
      • Kesovo and Metohija facts
  • Serbia Ministry of Information
  • Serbia Now! News

  • Kosova Crisis Center
  • Kosovo - from

  • NATO official site
  • BosniaLINK - U.S. Dept. of Defense
  • U.S. Navy images from Operation Allied Force
  • U.K. Ministry of Defence - Kosovo news
  • U.K. Royal Air Force - Kosovo news
  • Jane's Defence - Kosovo Crisis

  • International Rescue Committee
  • Unicef USA
  • Doctors Without Borders
  • World Vision
  • CARE: The Kosovo Crisis
  • InterAction
  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
  • International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Disaster Relief from
  • Catholic Relief Services
  • Kosovo Relief
  • ReliefWeb: Home page

  • Independent Yugoslav radio stations B92
  • Institute for War and Peace Reporting
  • United States Information Agency - Kosovo Crisis

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