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<nettime> Kosova redux: CARE Australia workers were spies
t byfield on Fri, 11 Feb 2000 19:52:26 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> Kosova redux: CARE Australia workers were spies



<http://news.beograd.com/english/articles_and_opinion/c/CARE/transcript.html>


CARE Australia workers were spies.

An exclusive report by Australian television network SBS show Dateline,
titled CARE - THE SECRET CONTRACT by Reporter - Graham Davis, aired on
Wednesday February 2, 2000 at 8.30 pm, reveals how CARE Canada signed an
agreement with the Government of Canada, a member of NATO, to recruit a
team, among them ex-military personnel, to monitor events in Kosovo. The
monitors gathered intelligence in Kosovo for the Organisation of Security
and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). SBS has known about a Canada connection
since last June. But it agreed to a request from CARE Australia's Chairman,
former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser not to reveal any of the details for
fear of jeopardising the release of the jailed CARE workers. Now that
Branko Jelen has been allowed to leave Serbia, the story can finally be
told. In the DATELINE report, Fraser denounces the contract, freely
acknowledging it raises suspicions about CARE's role in the Balkans. But he
also criticises CARE Australia's national director Charles Tapp who, he
says, should have prevented the arrangement from happening. CARE Australia
was the lead CARE organisation in the former Yugoslavia and Fraser says
Tapp had the power to block the deal.



_________________________________________________________________

CARE STORY TRANSCRIPT

SBS DATELINE, FEB 2, 2000

Reporter: Graham Davis

Opening sequence /Jelen welcome at Government house/yellow ribbon/ governor
general

Davis v/o - Last month, a long and painful saga played out in the bloody
killing fields of the Balkans had a happy ending in the tranquil grounds of
Government House Canberra.

The Governor General, Sir William Deane, threw a welcome party for Branko
Jelen, the Serbian CARE worker jailed for espionage who'd finally been
released and allowed to emigrate to Australia.

Natsot speech

Davis v/o - Rarely has a new arrival been so celebrated but Jelen was
always a special case someone caught up in a dangerous game beyond his
control who, in all conscience, could never have been left to rot in a
Belgrade prison.

He was, after all, merely a junior partner to the two Australians arrested
with him, Steve Pratt and Peter Wallace.....

And all along, CARE had been anxious to send a clear message to its local
staff throughout the world that in times of trouble, they wouldn't be
abandoned.

More natsot speech

Davis v/o - The nation's welcome was heartfelt..yet there's more to this
story than we've ever been told before...

For tonight SBS can reveal how these men were compromised by their own
organisation when it did a deal that had nothing to do with humanitarian
work and everything to do with intelligence.

CARE Canada, part of the CARE Federation, had a contract with the
Government of Canada, a NATO member, to recruit a team of people - many of
them former military men - to help monitor events in Kosovo.

While Pratt, Wallace and Jelen weren't part of the operation, Pratt, as
CARE's country director in the former Yugoslavia, did have a role in
setting it up. It compromised not just him and his co-defendants but CARE'S
entire effort in the Balkans.

Malcolm Fraser -

(YOU WERE CLEARLY ANNOYED, EVEN ANGRY THAT YOU WERE EVEN EXPOSED TO THIS
PARTICULAR INCIDENT)

I THINK IT WAS UNFORTUNATE, I WISH IT HADN'T HAPPENED.

CARE Australia's chairman Malcolm Fraser.

Fraser -

A HUMANITARIAN ORGANISATION IN AN EMERGENCY AREA AS THE BALKANS PLAINLY
WAS, SHOULD NOT ALSO BE INVOLVED IN MONITORING, NOW THAT'S VERY CLEAR, IT'S
A PLAIN VIEW AND CARE CANADA HAS TAKEN A DIFFERENT VIEW.

Davis v/o - Within the international aid community, the implications of the
deal are still sinking in. But already some are accusing CARE of
recklessness, of casting all aid workers under suspicion and jeopardising
their ability to provide help where and when it's most needed.

Fiona Terry, Medecins Sans Frontieres -

(ARE YOU SHOCKED TO HEAR OF THIS?)

YEAH I AM. I'M VERY SURPRISED THAT THEY WOULD ENGAGE IN SUCH A BLATANTLY
AMBIGUOUS POSITION AS HUMANITARIAN AID WORKERS...

Fiona Terry is Australian President of the Nobel-prize winning French
organisation, Medicin Sans Frontieres, Doctors without Borders.

Terry -

(DO YOU THINK MOST PEOPLE IN THE AID COMMUNITY WOULD BE SHOCKED BY THIS?)

YES I THINK MOST WOULD BE SHOCKED AND DISAPPOINTED ABOUT IT YEAH.

Malcolm Fraser -

( ONE AGENCY SAID TO US THEY WERE HORRIFIED BY THIS, ANOTHER SAID "CARE
HAVE BEEN INCREDIBLY STUPID". DO YOU THINK IT HAS PUT OTHER AID WORKERS AT
RISK BY DRAWING THE SUSPICION THAT PEOPLE SUPPOSEDLY ENGAGED IN
HUMANITARIAN WORK MAY BE PURSUING OTHER OBJECTIVES?)

NO I DON'T THINK SO, NO I REALLY DON'T.

Fiona Terry -

WELL I DO THINK THAT THERE MAY BE BAD REPERCUSSIONS AND YES, IT COULD
COMPROMISE VERY MUCH OUR ABILITY TO WORK IN CONFLICT AREAS YEAH.

Fraser on the road/meeting Serbs

Davis v/o - When Malcolm Fraser was on his epic mission last year to secure
the release of his men, he was anxious to keep the contract secret. Even
now he doesn't know if the Serbs ever knew. But with Pratt, Wallace and now
Jelen free, the story can be told..

Malcolm Fraser -

(WHEN SBS PUT A CANADA CONNECTION TO YOU LAST YEAR, YOU ASKED US NOT TO
MENTION THIS. WERE YOU CONCERNED THAT IT WOULD COMPLICATE YOUR EFFORTS TO
GAIN THE RELEASE OF THESE PEOPLE?)

OF COURSE. IT WAS A QUESTION OF PERCEPTION NOT OF REALITY. I DIDN'T KNOW
WHAT ANYONE KNEW, I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT WAS GOING TO BE INTRODUCED INTO THE
COURT AND IF YOU'VE GOT YOU KNOW A STATE OF WAR, A STATE OF SEIGE, SERBS
AGAINST THE WORLD WHAT COULD PEOPLE MAKE OF SOMETHING HOWEVER INNOCENT..

Steve Pratt confession natsot - "I am a spy..."

Davis v/o- When Steve Pratt made his celebrated confession last year, we
were told it was under duress. He wasn't a spy at all, just an ordinary aid
worker caught up in events beyond his control.

Malcolm Fraser still believes none of the three was engaged in espionage.

Malcolm Fraser -

OUR PEOPLE WERE INNOCENT, I BELIEVE, ABSOLUTELY, BRANKO JELEN INNOCENT
ABSOLUTELY...

Yet what the former prime minister now readily admits is that CARE was
guilty of a serious error of judgement in allowing the Canadian contract to
ever happen.

Fraser -

(CARE AUSTRALIA WAS THE LEAD ORGANISATION IN SERBIA, CORRECT?)

YES

(DID YOU KNOW AT THE TIME ABOUT THE CARE CANADA CONTRACT?)

I DIDN'T KNOW UNTIL AFTER OUR PEOPLE WERE ARRESTED.

(SO DID ANYBODY IN CARE AUSTRALIA KNOW?)

YES BUT YOU WOULD HAVE TO TAKE THAT UP WITH CHARLES TAPP AS NATIONAL
DIRECTOR. I DIDN'T KNOW. I BELIEVE I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN AND IF I HAD KNOWN,
I THINK THE PROGRAM MIGHT HAVE BEEN ENDED.

Davis v/o -This is the man Fraser says could and should have prevented the
deal. Charles Tapp, CARE Australia's national director, is getting a very
public caning from his chairman

Fraser -

(WAS THERE ANY WAY THAT AS THE LEAD COUNTRY IN SERBIA, YOU COULD HAVE
STOPPED THAT PARTICULAR PROGRAM?)

TECHNICALLY YES. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN PERHAPS UNCONVENTIONAL WITHIN CARE
PHILOSOPHY BUT IT COULD HAVE BEEN STOPPED

(BY WHOM?)

IT COULD HAVE BEEN STOPPED. WELL STEVE PRATT WE KNOW WAS OPPOSED TO IT BUT
ALSO CARE IN AUSTRALIA WOULD HAVE HAD TO BE OPPOSED TO IT. YOU WOULD HAVE
TO TAKE IT UP WITH CHARLES TAPP AS TO WHY IT WAS NOT STOPPED

(DID PRATT TELL TAPP ABOUT THIS?)

I'M SURE THE NATIONAL DIRECTOR KNEW ABOUT THE PROGRAM YES.

(SHOULD TAPP HAVE TOLD YOU DO YOU THINK?)

WELL LET'S JUST SAY WE'VE ALL LEARNED FROM SOME ASPECTS OF THIS PROGRAM.

Davis v/o - Charles Tapp declined our invitation to respond. Yet it's no
surprise that Fraser's comments have sparked a major row within CARE itself

What you're about to see is extraordinary proof of the deep divisions this
deal has generated...my interview with Fraser last Friday interrupted in
mid flow by CARE'S publicity manager Antony Funnell.

Malcolm Fraser -

LET'S PUT IT THIS WAY, WITH THE WISDOM OF HINDSIGHT, IN MY VIEW, CARE
AUSTRALIA'S VIEW IS THAT A MONITORING OPERATION SHOULD NOT BE ATTACHED IN
ANY WAY TO A HUMANITARIAN OPERATION...

Antony Funnell -

STEVE DIDN'T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT AND ALSO GRAHAM, IT'S A CONTRACT
THAT CARE HAVE WITH CIDA NOT WITH THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA.

Funnell wanted Fraser to make a distinction, the CARE contract was with the
Canadian Government's foreign aid agency CIDA.. It's a distinction Fraser
rejects...forcefully.

Fraser -

ANTHONY WHEN I AM DOING AN INTERVIEW, YOU DON'T INTERRUPT. HAVE YOU GOT
THIS ON.

Davis -

LET'S CONTINUE

Funnell -

IT'S A VERY IMPORTANT DISTINCTION, THAT IT'S NOT A CONTRACT WITH THE
GOVERNMENT OF CANADA, IT'S A CONTRACT WITH CIDA

Fraser -

ANTHONY

Davis -

CIDA IS AN AGENCY OF THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT... I WOULD LIKE TO CONTINUE
THE INTERVIEW, CAN WE DO THAT?

Funnell -

I WAS MAKING A POINT OF CLARIFICATION.

Fraser -

WELL YOU DO NOT INTERRUPT AN INTERVIEW WHEN I AM BEING INTERVIEWED. DO YOU
UNDERSTAND THAT?

Funnell -

I WAS JUST MAKING A POINT OF CLARIFICATION.

Fraser -

ANTHONY! CAN YOU UNDERSTAND...

Funnell -

I WON'T MAKE ANY MORE, I WON'T MAKE ANY MORE.

Fraser -

CAN YOU UNDERSTAND PLAIN ENGLISH.

Funnell -

I WON'T MAKE ANY MORE

Fraser -

DO NOT INTERRUPT WHEN I AM BEING INTERVIEWED AND DO NOT EVER INTERRUPT
AGAIN. DO YOU UNDERSTAND?

Funnell -

I DON'T THINK THIS IS A GOOD THING TO BE SAYING.

Fraser -

I DON'T THINK IT WAS A GOOD THING FOR YOU TO INTERRUPT. I TAKE IT THAT THE
CAMERAS ARE NOT RECORDING ANY PART OF ANTHONY'S INTERRUPTION, IS THAT RIGHT?

Davis -

WELL I MEAN OBVIOUSLY THE INTERVIEW WAS INTERRUPTED AND WE WOULD HAVE TO
SAY THAT IT WAS INTERRUPTED, BUT THIS IS HIGHLY IRREGULAR.

Fraser -

I KNOW IT IS HIGHLY IRREGULAR..

Davis v/o - To Fraser, CIDA and the Canadian Government are one and the same.

Fraser -

THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT, THROUGH ITS AGENT CIDA WAS FUNDING AN OPERATION. I
THOUGHT CIDA WAS PURELY A HUMANITARIAN ORGANISATION AND THEN I DISCOVERED
THAT CIDA HAD A NON-HUMANITARIAN FUNDING WINDOW.

Davis v/o - And through this window passed Canada's contract with Care to
hire monitors for Kosovo...a humanitarian organisation willingly drawn into
a compromising non-humanitarian mission.

Fraser -

WELL THE PROGRAM WAS TRYING TO KEEP THE PEACE, DESIGNED TO HELP STOP
INCIDENTS IN WHICH PEOPLE GOT MURDERED OR BEATEN UP OR KILLED. THE PROGRAM
ITSELF WAS A GOOD PROGRAM. IT WAS AN HONOURABLE PROGRAM. IT WAS ALL ON TOP
OF THE TABLE ( BUT THIS WAS AN ERROR OF JUDGEMENT) THE ERROR OF JUDGEMENT
WAS ATTACHING A DIFFERENT KIND OF GOOD PROGRAM TO A HUMANITARIAN
ORGANISATION.

Kosovo scenes

Davis v/o - At the time the contract was signed at the end of 1998, the
international community was trying to stop the appalling violence in Kosovo.

With Serbia's agreement, a monitoring force was assembled by the OSCE, the
Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe from among its 55
member states stretching from Vancouver to Vladivoskok.

In Ottowa, CIDA's Director of Balkan projects Stephen Wallace turned to Care.

Stephen Wallace -

WE HAD AN AGREEMENT WITH CARE CANADA WHEREBY CARE CANADA IDENTIFIED
CANDIDATES WHO WERE SUITABLY QUALIFIED UNDER THOSE VARIOUS SKILL SETS
SPECIFIED BY THE OSCE AND ONCE THE OSCE SELECTED AND EMPLOYED THESE
INDIVIDUALS, CARE CANADA CONTINUED TO PROVIDE BASIC ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT
SUCH AS MEDICAL REVIEWS, ORIENTATION BRIEFING SESSIONS, THE PAYMENT OF PER
DIEMS AND SO ON.

Davis v/o - This is the man who signed for CARE, Dr John Watson, Care
Canada's Executive Director.

Dr John Watson -

YOU'RE LOOKING FOR PEOPLE IF AT ALL POSSIBLE WHO'VE HAD PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE
IN COMBAT ZONES WHO HAVE A FLEXIBLE PERTSONALITY, WHO'VE DEALT WITH TRAUMA
AND WHO WANT TO GO INTO WORK OF THIS TYPE. USUALLY THEY ARE ON A NETWORK,
THERE IS AN ORGANISATION TASKED WITH MAINTAINING A ROSTER OF INTERESTED
PEOPLE SO THEY WOULD FORWARD US CV'S, SOME PEOPLE WOULD CALL US DIRECT, A
LOT OF PEOPLE WOULD BE REFERRED TO US THEY'D CALL UP THE GOVERNMENT AND
THEY'D BE REFERRED TO US IN CARE CANADA.

Stephen Wallace CIDA -

CONSISTENT WITH ANY KIND OF OPERATION, WHETHER IT BE IN HUMANITARIAN
ASSISTANCE OR BE IT IN DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE OR IN PEACE MONITORING YOU
FIND THAT YOU HAVE SOME OF THE SKILL SETS IN EX MILITARY PEOPLE AND THIS
WAS NO EXCEPTION...

Davis v/o - No one can say for sure whether some of the recruits may have
been real spies also working for western intelligence, though it's entirely
reasonable to assume so given the circumstances in Kosovo.

Care defends itself by saying the Serbs were meant to be given copies of
any OSCE report. But a senior source inside the OSCE has told Dateline no
information of any value was, in fact, passed on.

The same source says the OSCE and NATO were working hand in hand, with OSCE
reports going direct to NATO.

That's no news to Serbia, according to deputy Information Minister Miodrag
Popovic.

Popovic -

WE KNEW ALL ALONG ABOUT THEIR INTELLIGENCE ACTIVITIES, WE KNEW ALL ALONG
ABOUT THE REAL PURPOSE OF OSCE MISSION AND THAT WAS TO JUSTIFY LATER NATO
AGGRESSION.

And so Care Canada not only had a contract with one of the belligerents,
whose planes would soon be bombing Belgrade, it had a direct role in
sustaining the Canadian members of a force passing information directly to
Serbia's enemies.

Stephen Wallace CIDA -

THEY WERE PAID BY THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA THROUGH CARE CANADA WHO PROVIDED
THE ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT.

Malcolm Fraser -

( I MEAN STRIPPED TO ITS BARE ESSENTIALS, WHAT CARE CANADA DID WAS TO HELP
SET UP AN INTELLIGENCE NETWORK IN KOSOVO, THAT'S TRUE ISN'T IT)

NO USING THE WORD INTELLIGENCE IMMEDIATELY GIVES THE WRONG IMPRESSION. LET
ME BACKTRACK HALF A SENTENCE, INTELLIGENCE IMPLIES THAT OTHER ELEMENTS WERE
INVOLVED, MAYBE ESPIONAGE OR WHATEVER BECAUSE INTELLIGENCE AND ESPIONAGE GO
HAND IN HAND

( RIGHT NOW IN THE OXFORD DICTIONARY, INTELLIGENCE MEANS "INFORMATION THAT
MIGHT BE OF VALUE MILITARILY" AND ISN'T THIS WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT?)

THAT'S ONE OF THE MEANINGS OF INTELLIGENCE.

(WHEN WE HAD SO MANY EX-MILITARY AND SO MANY EX-POLICEMEN GOING IN UNDER
THIS CARE CANADA CONTRACT, DIDN'T THAT GIVE RISE TO A SUSPICION THAT MAY
HAVE BEEN AVOIDED HAD THAT CONTRACT NEVER BEEN SIGNED?)

OH LOOK IN RETROSPECT, IN HINDSIGHT, I THINK IT'S MUCH BETTER IF IT HADN'T
BEEN SIGNED, IF IT HADN'T TAKEN PLACE.

(SO IT WAS A MISTAKE )

I HAVE SAID THAT MY VIEW IS THAT THESE KINDS OF OPERATIONS SHOULD NOT BE
MIXED UP WITH THE HUMANITARIAN OPERATION. THAT'S CARE AUSTRALIA'S VIEW VERY
CLEARLY, QUITE CATEGORICALLY AND WE WOULD BE SAYING TO OUR COUNTRY
DIRECTORS IN AN EMERGENCY, IF ANYONE COMES AT YOU FOR A PROGRAM OF THIS
KIND, WE ARE NOT GOING TO BE PART OF IT.

Davis v/o - But Care Australia's country director in Serbia, Steve Pratt,
didn't say no...he actually helped the Canadians set up their operation,
assisting a staff member whose job was to liaise with the monitors.. Fraser
tells us he didn't like doing so though Care Canada's boss John Watson has
a different recollection of events.

John Watson -

I TRAVELLED WITH STEVE FOR A WEEK IN KOSOVO. IT WAS QUITE CLEAR TO US THAT
ON THE TRADITIONAL HUMANITARIAN SIDE IT WAS GETTING VERY DIFFICULT, THEY
WERE BLOWING UP MORE HOUSES THAT WE COULD REPAIR, WE DIDN'T HAVE LAND-MINE
PROOF VEHICLES SO EVEN GETTING OUT TO THE COUNTRYSIDE WAS A MAJOR TOPIC OF
CONVERSATION. YOU HAD TO KNOW WHERE THE LANDMINES WERE OR WHERE THE
CONFLICT WAS. SO THERE WAS A DEFINITE ADVANTAGE TO HAVING A PEACE
MONITORING PROGRAM GOING ON TO CARE'S TRADITIONAL HUMANITARIAN WORK. WE
DECIDED THE TWO COULD BE QUITE SEPARATE AND THEREFORE WE WENT AHEAD WITH IT.

Malcolm Fraser -

(YOU SAY THE SERBS KNEW ABOUT THE OSCE MONITORING PROGRAM BUT DID THEY KNOW
ABOUT CARE CANADA'S CONTRACT WITH THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT?)

WELL LET ME PUT IT THIS WAY. SERBIA, THE GOVERNMENT OF YUGOSLAVIA AND FOR
THAT MATTER THE GOVERNMENT OF SERBIA WOULD HAVE KNOWN THAT NATO COUNTRIES
GENERALLY WERE SUPPLYING MONITORS FOR THE KVM PROGRAM, SO THE FACT THAT THE
MONITORS WERE BEING SUPPLIED BY A NATO MEMBER IS NOT OF ANY PARTICULAR
SIGNIFICANCE

( BUT DID THEY?)

NO I DON'T KNOW WHETHER THEY KNEW SPECIFICALLY THAT THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT
WAS INVOLVED. I DON'T KNOW TO WHAT DETAIL WHERE THE PEOPLE CAME FROM, WHERE
THE MONITORS CAME FROM, WAS REPORTED TO THE GOVERNMENT OF SERBIA.

Davis v/o - All along, Malcolm Fraser was determined to keep a lid on any
disclosure of the contract, mindful of its compromising nature and its
potential impact on the Care captives.

Fiona Terry MSF -

I THINK IT MAKES THE WHOLE POSITION OF AID WORKERS VERY AMBIGUOUS. I THINK
IT'S INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT THAT WE STICK TO CERTAIN PRINCIPLES BECAUSE THESE
PRINCIPLES GUARANTEE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE OUR ACCESS TO PLACES AROUND THE
WORLD. BASICALLY THE PRACTICAL MEASURE OF NEUTRALITY IS THE BELLIGERENT'S
PERCEPTION OF REALITY. WE CAN GO AROUND AND TELL EVERYBODY THAT WE ARE
NEUTRAL OR IMPARTIAL BUT IF THEY DON'T BELIEVE IT THEN THEY ARE GOING TO
BLOCK OUR ACCESS OR PERHAPS ACCUSE US OF THINGS....

...PARTICULARLY IN THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA, WHERE BASICALLY MOST OF THE
BELLIGERENTS SAID IF YOU'RE NOT WITH US YOU'RE AGAINST US.

(SO WHAT ABOUT A SITUATION IN WHICH CARE CANADA DOES A CONTRACT WITH THE
GOVERNMENT OF ONE OF THE BELLIGERENTS IN NATO'S ACTIONS AGAINST SERBIA?)

WELL IT GETS WORSE AND WORSE YES

(A DEFINITE COMPROMISE?)

DEFINITE COMPROMISE

(NOT ONLY OF CARE BUT OF ALL AID WORKERS?)

YES I THINK SO.

Natsot bombing of Belgrade

Davis v/o- Belgrade, March 1999. For any westerner still in the former
Yugoslavia, life had become very difficult indeed. Even aid workers were
suspect in a climate in which the Serbs had claimed homing devices were
being planted to help the NATO bombs reach their targets.

Steve Pratt and Peter Wallace had been trying, as best they could, to keep
Care's local operations going .But at the end of March they set off with
Care's files and computers.

Malcolm Fraser -

THEY HAD OFFICE RECORDS, THEY HAD SOME OTHER PERSONAL MATERIAL, SAMIRA
PRATT IS A MUSLIM, I THINK THEY ARE BOTH MUSLIMS ACTUALLY. I LEARNED
AFTERWARDS THAT ANYONE WHO APPROACHED A CERTAIN BORDER TO MOVE OUT OF THE
COUNTRY, AS THEY WERE AT THE TIME, IF THEY HAD A LOT OF WRITTEN MATERIALS
IN THE CAR, IT WAS DETAINED.

(YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT CROATIA HERE)

YES THE CROATIAN BORDER

( PEOPLE TO THIS DAY CAN'T UNDERSTAND WHY THEY DIDN'T GO OUT THROUGH
HUNGARY AS MOST OTHER PEOPLE DID AND CHOSE TO GO OUT THROUGH CROATIA. DO
YOU HAVE AN ANSWER TO THAT?)

...THE TRAFFIC WAS HEAVY, I THINK SOME BRIDGES WERE DOWN, IT WAS GOING TO
TAKE A LONG TIME, THEY THOUGHT IT WOULD BE QUICKER. THEY HAD BEEN THROUGH
THE LIPOVIC BORDER MANY TIMES AND HADN'T HAD ANY TROUBLE..

(PRATT HAS APPARENTLY BEEN TELLING PEOPLE THAT IT WAS THE COSTLIEST MISTAKE
OF HIS LIFE. WOULD YOU AGREE WITH THAT ASSESSMENT?)

WELL I DON'T KNOW HIS LIFE IN ANY SORT OF DETAIL BUT OBVIOUSLY IT WAS A
VERY DIFFICULT MISTAKE...

Davis v/o -What was in the Care files, though, proved even more costly.

Fraser -

(WHY WOULD STEVE PRATT HAD NEEDED TO HAVE GATHERED INFORMATION ON TROOP
MOVEMENTS, ON TANK POSITIONS, ON MINEFIELDS THAT SORT OF THING?)

WELL MOVING FOOD AROUND, CAN YOU GET YOUR CONVOYS THROUGH, CAN WE GET OUR
FUEL THROUGH, CAN WE GET OUR FOOD THROUGH TO THE CENTRES? DO WE HAVE TO GO
A DIFFERENT WAY ROUND? IS THERE FIGHTING IN THE WAY, ARE THERE TROOPS IN
THE WAY? I THINK THAT'S ALL PRETTY NORMAL. THERE ARE A LOT OF LESSONS OUT
OF THIS INCIDENT. STEVE HAD MILITARY TRAINING, SO HIS SITUATION REPORTS
WERE WRITTEN IN HIS TRADITIONAL LANGUAGE, IN MILITARY LANGUAGE

(MILITARY JARGON?)

MILITARY JARGON....

(OF COURSE THEY HAD A SATELLITE PHONE TOO WHICH PROBABLY DIDN'T HELP?)

YES BUT YOU KNOW THAT WAS AND IS PART OF CARE AUSTRALIA'S PHILOSOPHY THAT
WE WON'T HAVE PEOPLE WORKING IN AN EMERGENCY AREA UNLESS THEY HAVE GOT
CONSTANT COMMUNICATIONS OUT OF THE COUNTRY, PREFERABLY BACK TO HEAD OFFICE
IN CANBERRA. SO THAT'S WHY THEY WOULD HAVE HAD A SATELLITE PHONE.

(CAN I ASK YOU THIS? DID THEY HAVE ANY OSCE DOCUMENTS WITH THEM?)

OH GOOD HEAVENS NO. NO. DEFINITELY NOT

(DEFINITELY NOT?)

NO.

Court case file vision

Davis v/o - With Pratt, Wallace and Jelen detained there was definitely no
mention of the Care contract - all through the long weeks of their trial
and the successive attempts to free them....

Not just by Malcolm Fraser but Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and world
figures such as Nelson Mandela....a veritable who's who of who to call in a
time of such distress.

Fraser -

(LET ME ASK YOU DIRECTLY, DO YOU THINK THIS HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH WHAT
HAPPENED TO STEVE PRATT AND PETER WALLACE?)

NO I DON'T

(YOU DON'T?)

NO I REALLY DON'T. NOTHING RELATING TO THIS WAS RAISED IN COURT IN ANY OF
THE EVIDENCE.

(BUT DID PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT IT?)

THEY KNEW ABOUT THE PROGRAM

(YEAH BUT THEY DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT CARE CANADA'S CONTRACT, THAT'S THE POINT)

BUT THEY KNEW A LOT OF PEOPLE HAD CONTRACTS SUPPLYING KVM MONITORS. THIS
WAS NOT UNUSUAL

( WAS ANY OTHER CARE ORGANISATION INVOLVED IN THIS?)

NO BUT A LOT OF OTHER ORGANISATIONS WERE. I DON'T KNOW WHICH ONES THEY WERE
AND I DO NOT KNOW TO WHAT DETAIL THE ACTUAL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROGRAM
WAS REPORTED TO THE GOVERNMENT OF YUGOSLAVIA..

Davis v/o - As well as making sure the existence of the contract never came
to light, Malcolm Fraser also did all he could to engage the Serbian
leadership, making statements that if not exactly pro-Serbian could be
interpreted that way. He's still doing it.

Fraser -

IT WAS THE WEST'S DECISION TO GO TO WAR, NOT YUGOSLAVIA'S AND WHEN I SAY
THE WEST'S DECISION, THERE IS A GREAT DEAL OF EVIDENCE TO SAY THAT
RAMBOULLET WAS ORGANISED TO PROVIDE AN EXCUSE TO GO TO WAR AND I SAY THAT
QUITE CLEARLY AND DELIBERATELY.

Davis v/o -Such sentiments have been rewarded.

Fraser -

LET ME PUT ONE OTHER THING THAT'S HAPPENED SINCE I'VE BEEN GOING TO
YUGOSLAVIA AND ON MY LAST OR SECOND LAST VISIT, WE SIGNED A COUNTRY
AGREEMENT WITH THE GOVERNMENT OF YUGOSLAVIA....

NOW THE AGREEMENT THAT WE WERE ABLE TO NEGOTIATE, WHICH SETS OUT GOVERNMENT
OBLIGATIONS, IT SETS OUT OUR OBLIGATIONS, WAS THE FIRST OF ANY
INTERNATIONAL NGO. NOW I THINK THAT INDICATES QUITE CLEARLY THAT THE
GOVERNMENT OF YUGOSLAVIA VALUES THE WORK CARE IS DOING.

Davis v/o -But does it devalue the position of aid organisations generally?
Certainly Medecins Sans Frontieres thinks so.

Fiona Terry MSF -

I THINK THIS WHOLE MISSION CREEP THAT HUMANITARIAN AID ORGANISATIONS ARE
GOING INTO AT THE MOMENT IS A HUGELY RETROGRADE STEP. I THINK WE NEED TO GO
BACK TO BASICS. I THINK THAT WE HAVE TO LOOK AT THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES
OF IMPARTIALITY AND BE VERY CAREFUL OF INDEPENDENCE FROM GOVERNMENTS. I
MEAN I THINK EVEN MALCOLM FRASER'S POSITION HAS BEEN QUITE AMBIGUOUS IN THE
YUGOSLAV CONFLICT ( IN WHAT SENSE?) WELL FOR A START HE IS THE HEAD OF A
NON GOVERNMENT ORGANISATION AND YET HE GOES AS THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT
ENVOY TO THE REGION. I MEAN THAT IS SOMETHING THAT ASTOUNDS ME AND I THINK
HE HAS COME OUT WITH SOME VERY STRONG STATEMENTS OF HE OWN AGAINST THE NATO
BOMBING WHICH I AM CERTAINLY VERY MUCH OPPOSED TO....

...AND I CERTAINLY THINK THAT MEETING INDICTED WAR CRIMINALS GIVES THEM AN
ELEMENT OF LEGITIMACY THAT I WOULD CERTAINLY STEER AWAY FROM DOING.

(SO IN THAT SITUATION, HE MADE A MISTAKE HIMSELF?)

I FEEL THAT HE DID. HE PROBABLY DOESN'T FEEL THAT HE DID BUT I FEEL HE DID YES.

Davis v/o - What Malcolm Fraser does feel strongly is that the episode of
the Care Canada contract must never be allowed to happen again.

Fraser -

THERE WILL BE A MEETING IN MAY IN OTTOWA WITH CARE INTERNATIONAL BOARD
MEMBERS WHICH WILL DECIDE, YOU KNOW, SHOULD THERE BE A POLICY FOR THE
ORGANISATION THAT WILL BE BINDING ON MEMBERS....

I HAPPEN TO BELIEVE THAT THAT MEETING WILL MAKE A DECISION THAT CARE SHOULD
NOT BE INVOLVED IN MONITORING OPERATIONS IN AN EMERGENCY AREA WHEN ITS MAIN
TASK IS HUMANITARIAN AID, ITS MAIN TASK IS KEEPING PEOPLE ALIVE. I THINK IT
CAN CREATE A PERCEPTION THAT I'D PREFER NOT TO BE ABLE TO CREATE

(WHICH IS WHAT OUR STORY IS ALL ABOUT)

I SUPPOSE IT IS.

Davis v/o - But awaiting Fraser in Ottowa is a sister organisation that's
thoroughly unrepentant.

John Watson Care Canada -

MALCOLM FRASER HAS A MORE TRADITIONAL VIEW OF HUMANITARIAN WORK. IT IS A
REAL POLICY DEBATE. BOTH SIDES HAVE THEIR POINT. WE TAKE A MORE PROGRESSIVE
VIEW OF HUMANITARIAN WORK....

WE BELIEVE THERE'S A WHOLE RANGE OF WORK THAT HAS TO DO WITH PEACE KEEPING
AND RECONCILIATION THAT HUMANITARIAN AGENCIES SHOULD BE INVOLVED IN AND IF
THEY ONLY DO THEIR TRADITIONAL WORK IT CAN HAVE VERY PERVERSE RESULTS.

IT CAN LEAD TO DEATHS NOT ONLY IN THE POPULATION BUT IN THE HUMANITARIAN
WORKERS THEMSELVES...

Fiona Terry MSF -

AID WORKERS ARE ALWAYS COLLECTING INFORMATION FOR THEIR OWN BENEFIT IN THE
FIELD. THEY HAVE TO BE VERY VIGILANT WITH REGARD TO THEIR OWN SECURITY SO
WE NEED TO KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON AND CERTAINLY THERE HAVE BEEN SUSPICIONS
THAT AID WORKERS MAY BE COLLECTION MILITARY INFORMATION BUT I THINK THAT
THE PROBLEM WITH THIS COMING OUT AND IT BEING OFFICIAL AND IT BEING
RECOGNISED IS UNLESS CARE DOES SOMETHING ABOUT IT, TO SAY "WELL WE MADE A
MISTAKE AND WE RECOGNISE THAT AND WE WON'T DO THIS SORT OF THING AGAIN"
THEN I DO THINK IT'S A PROBLEM...

AID ORGANISATIONS ARE GETTING MORE AND MORE INVOLVED IN CONFLICT RESOLUTION
AND THE WHOLE HUMANITARIAN MANDATE IS BEING EXPANDED TO COVER ALL SORTS OF
MORE POLITICAL AREAS AND I THINK THAT'S DANGEROUS.

Aid workers

Davis v/o - Care, as we've seen, tried desperately to limit the danger to
Pratt, Wallace and Jelen of the Canadian arrangement but tonight comes a
surprising revelation from the Serbs.

Deputy Information Minister Miodrag Popovic maintains Belgrade knew all
along but chose not to make an issue of it.

Popovic -

ACTUALLY I WAS HAPPY TO SEE AUSTRALIA OR THE AUSTRALIAN MEDIA DISCOVERED
THIS STORY, ON THE OTHER HAND I KNEW ABOUT THIS BUT YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND
MY STAND BECAUSE IT IS A MINOR PROBLEM FOR THIS COUNTRY, MUCH BIGGER
PROBLEM WAS THE INTELLIGENCE ACTIVITIES NOT ONLY OF THE PEOPLE FROM CARE
BUT FROM THE OSCE MISSION ITSELF, THE MUCH BIGGER PROBLEM IS THE PLIGHT OF
THE PEOPLE IN SERBIA TODAY.

Popovic is still convinced the three CARE workers were spies, but says they
were freed in the national interest,

Popovic -

ALL ALONG WE WERE JUST TRYING TO SAY WE ARE DEFENDING OUR COUNTRY AMD THAT
WE ARE NOT VILLAINS AND MURDERERS AND THOSE THREE PEOPLE WERE PARDONED IN
THAT CAUSE.....

I DON'T SEE THAT SOME OF THE PEOPLE WHO WERE LEFT WITHOUT THEIR HOMES AND
DEPRIVED OF THEIR LIVELIHOOD OR EVEN NOW LIVING WITHOUT THEIR LOVED ONES ON
THOSE TARGETS SPOTTED BY THOSE PEOPLE FROM CARE THAT THEY'RE GOING TO
FORGIVE THEM THAT EASILY.

But milking Care's continuing largess comes first.

Popovic -

YES PEOPLE DON'T LIKE CARE PEOPLE, DON'T LIKE HUMANITARIAN ORGANISATIONS
BUT I THINK THE PICTURE IS SOMEHOW FALSE IN THE WIDER PROSPECT, WE NEED
THEIR HELP AND THEY ARE WELCOME TO ASSIST THOSE PEOPLE IN NEED.

Yet for all Serbia's nonchalance, there's a sobering element to this
affair, not just for Care but for all aid agencies...

The cost of so called mission creep in the Balkans is that those carrying
the bandages in one hand are sometimes also suspected of carrying a knife
in the other.

Popovic -

I DO THINK THAT SOME PEOPLE DO TEND TO MAKE SOME CONNECTION WITH FOREIGN
GOVERNMENTS OR THE GOVERNMENTS OF NATO COUNTRIES AND DURING THE CONFLICT
IT'S VERY DANGEROUS BECAUSE THEY ARE MAKING UP THE SCENE FOR ATTACKS. WE
HAD THOSE SO CALLED ESTIMATES NOT JUST FROM CARE BUT EVEN UNHCR THAT WERE
PROVED FALSE AND THEY WERE JUST THE PRETEXT FOR NATO ATTACKS THAT WERE TO
COME LATER ON AND THESE PROBLEMS WE EXPERIENCED, ON THE OTHER HAND AS I
TOLD YOU HELP IS NEEDED, THE PLIGHT OF THE PEOPLE IS GENUINE, IT'S GENUINE
EVEN AS WE SPEAK AND WE DO NEED THAT HELP.

If the suspicious sentiments in Serbia are catching, then the real impact
worldwide can only be guessed at. One thing tonight is certain. Within Care
Australia there are bitter recriminations over whether, as the lead nation
in Serbia, it should have turned the tap off on the Care Canada deal.

Fraser -

(IF CHARLES TAPP HAD THE AUTHORITY TO STOP THIS, AS YOU SAY, AND HE DIDN'T
DO IT, HAVE YOU TOLD HIM THAT YOU WEREN'T HAPPY ABOUT THAT?)

WELL THAT'S AN INTERNAL MATTER

(HAVE YOU ASKED FOR HIS RESIGNATION?)

OH GOOD HEAVENS NO

(SO IT'S NOT THAT SERIOUS - AN OMISSION )

LOOK WHATEVER HAS HAPPENED HAS HAPPENED, WE HAVE ALL LEARNED A BIT.


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