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09 July, 1999
Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis yesterday said he would intercede with his Yugoslav counterpart for the release of two Australian aid workers convicted on espionage charges in Yugoslavia.
Mr. Kaklamanis spoke after meeting with the Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives Neil Andrew.
Mr. Andrew, who was also received by President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos and FM George Papandreou later in the day, thanked Athens for its continuing efforts to have the two freed.
Steve Pratt and Peter Wallace, part of Care Australia's refugee relief program in Yugoslavia, were convicted of spying after they were detained on Yugoslavia's border with Croatia on March 31.
Australia branded the charges as preposterous.
Pratt, who was shown 'confessing' to intelligence-gathering activities for NATO on Serbian television, was jailed for 12 years after being found guilty by a five-member military court in Belgrade of passing on military secrets.
Wallace was jailed for four years and Yugoslav CARE Australia worker Branko Jelen for six years.
In April, Greece appealed to Yugoslavia to release the two as a humanitarian measure.
Source: Athens News Agency