Jury out in alleged people smuggler case

15:58 AEST Mon Jun 6 2005

A jury has retired to consider its verdict in the trial of an alleged people smuggler linked to the deaths of 353 asylum seekers.

Iraqi man Khaleed Shnayf Daoed, 37, has pleaded not guilty in the Supreme Court in Brisbane to two counts of people smuggling.

The first charge relates to the successful arrival of 147 asylum seekers on Christmas Island in August 2001.

The second charge relates to the doomed SIEV-X boat, which capsized off Indonesia in October 2001, killing 353 Iraqis.

The prosecution alleges Daoed was the "trusted assistant" to smuggling giant Abu Quassey, who is serving seven years jail in Egypt over the deaths.

The three week trial heard allegations from the survivors of the SIEV-X that Daoed arranged the money for Quassey.

One survivor, Sadeq Al-Abodie, told the trial he paid $A1,300 for a seat on the crowded boat for himself, his daughter and his wife.

He also testified he saw Indonesian armed police on the beach as they boarded the boat.

However, the defence alleges Daoed was merely acting as a translator for Quassey in Indonesia.

During the trial, Daoed took to the stand and denied he ever made smuggling arrangements on behalf of Quassey.

İAAP 2005

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