People smuggler case in Australia adjourned

ABC Radio Australia News
8 April 2004

An Australian court has adjourned the committal hearing of alleged people smuggler Khaleed Daoed until July.

Daoed is accused of helping to organise the voyage of the Siev X, which capsized enroute to Christmas Island in 2001 with the loss of more than 350 lives.

During three days of proceedings this week survivors recounted how they arranged with jailed smuggler, Abu Quassey, to pay $US1500 for a ticket to Australia and Daoed's participation in organising accommodation and food while they waited to leave.

Our reporter, Jason Rawlins, says they also told of their terror when their boat sank and of mystery aircraft and boats passing overhead or close by while they floated in the ocean for more than 20 hours.

The court also heard from a federal police officer involved in the subsequent investigation.

Federal agent Andrew Warton admitted he had made no attempt to investigate claims an Indonesian immigration official was on the payroll of the smugglers.

The hearing resumes in July before continuing again in August.


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