Senator The Hon. Christopher Ellison
Minister for Justice and Customs
Senator for Western Australia

Ms Marg Hutton
[address deleted]

[date stamped 6 Jan 2005]

Dear Ms Hutton,

Thank you for your email to my Department dated 12 November 2004. You have asked whether Abu Quassey has appealed his conviction in Egypt on 27 December 2003 for people smuggling related charges and , if so, you have asked for the result of the appeal.

I can confirm that Abu Quassey did appeal the decision of the Egyptian court which found him guilty of people smuggling related charges and sentenced him to 7 years gaol. The appeal decision was handed down on 24 November 2004. The Egyptian appeals court upheld Quassey's conviction on both charges, while reducing his sentence to 5 years and 3 months in prison.

Thank you for your interest in this important issue. Bringing Abu Quassey to justice for his participation in smuggling people to Australia from the Middle East and South Asia has been a high priority for the Australian Government.

Yours sincerely,

Chris Ellison,
Senator for Western Australia

[See scan of this document]

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