Jury retires unable to reach verdict

The Australian
June 06, 2005

THE jury in the trial of an alleged people smuggler linked with the deaths of 353 people has retired for the evening after being unable to reach a verdict.

Iraqi goldsmith 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 SIEV-X boat, which capsized off Indonesia in October 2001, killing 353 Iraqis.

During his trial, Mr Daoed denied making people smuggling arrangements.

However, the prosecution alleged he was the "trusted assistant" of smuggling boss Abu Quassey who charged people hundreds of dollars for a place on the boat.

Quassey was charged with death through negligence over the SIEV-X disaster and is serving seven years in an Egyptian jail.

The prosecution is not alleging Mr Daoed is responsible for the deaths of the asylum seekers, only that he aided in their attempted illegal importation.

The jury has been deliberating since 1pm (AEST) today and will resume at 10am tomorrow.

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