This boat is not SIEVX.
SIEVX was smaller & carried nearly 200 more passengers.
We Could Have Him!
by Marg Hutton
28 January 2003
Four weeks after Abu Quassey's release from Jakarta's Cipinang
prison, diplomatic wrangling continues behind the scenes
between Indonesia, Australia and Egypt to decide the fate of
the self-confessed people smuggler and organiser of the fatal
Articles in today's SMH, Age and Jakarta Post bring into sharp
relief the difference in attitude to Quassey between Canberra
Jakarta correspondent, Matthew Moore writing for the Fairfax papers, implies that Indonesia is being difficult and is on the verge of deporting Quassey to Egypt where he will likely avoid extradition to Australia. Moore suggests that this may be due in part to Indonesian displeasure regarding the frustration of their efforts over a number of years to extradite Hendra Rahardja who died recently in Australia. It would appear that Justice Minister Ellison has encouraged this analysis.
However, the Jakarta Post provides a somewhat different
perspective. It does not mention the Hendra Rahardja matter at
all and instead provides new information sourced solely from the
Indonesian Justice and Human Rights Minister Yusril Ihza
In a key paragraph the Jakarta Post quotes Mr Mahendra as saying
that Quassey could be deported to Australia. '[I]f Australia
demanded [that Quassey] be deported directly to Canberra, "we
would have to consider the request seriously."'
Significantly the Jakarta Post differentiates between
deportation and extradition and points out Quassey could not
be extradited directly to Australia because there are no legal
grounds to do so.
In contrast, the Age article quotes Justice Minister Chris
Ellison - 'Government officials are investigating all possible
avenues to secure Abu Quassey's prosecution. The government
does not intend to foreshadow the steps it is taking to bring
Abu Quassey to justice.'
According to the Jakarta Post article the only step needed is
for the Justice Minister to pick up the phone and ring
Jakarta. If Ellison is serious in his professed determination
to have Quassey appear before an Australian court he will
request that Indonesia deport Quassey to Australia.
In any event, it appears that a decision will not be made for
another fortnight, by which time AFP Commissioner Keelty will
be due to appear before Senate Estimates to answer further
questions on matters that will likely include Quassey and
If Quassey manages to slip the net through extradition to
Egypt then this will be a huge public embarrassment for
Senator Ellison and the AFP and can only fuel speculation that
Australia has something to hide in regard to SIEVX.
The fact that Quassey is still in immigration detention almost
a month after his release from prison indicates that the
pressure of the Senate 'Quassey motion' and the intensive lobbying by
SIEVX activists over the last two months has been very