Asylum seekers asked to fund SIEV X fit-out, court hears

Last Update: Wednesday, May 25, 2005. 8:01pm (AEST)

A Brisbane court has been told that asylum seekers were asked for money to complete the 'fit-out' of a boat before it could undertake its journey from Indonesia to Australia.

The Supreme Court today heard from Iraqi refugee Aqeel Salman, who was among a group of asylum seekers he says paid money as deposits for passage to Australia.

He was giving evidence at the trial of alleged people smuggler Khaleed Daoed, who is charged with two counts of abiding in a people smuggling operation.

Some 353 asylum seekers on board the ill-fated SIEV-X boat drowned when it capsized in October 2001.

Mr Salman told the court Daoed had asked those waiting to leave Bali to pay the remainder of the money they owed so their boat could be fitted out with satellite navigation equipment, life jackets and food.

The trial continues.


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