This boat is not SIEVX.
SIEVX was smaller & carried nearly 200 more passengers.
Last Chance For Ellison To Show He Means Business Re Quassey
by Marg Hutton
1 February 2003
The oft repeated claims by Justice Minister Ellison over the last six weeks that he is determined to pursue the self-confessed organiser of the tragic SIEVX voyage, Abu Quassey, to the ends of the earth in order to bring him to justice has been exposed by Indonesian Justice and Human Rights Minister, Yusril Ihza Mahendra as hollow rhetoric.
In an interview with Jakarta correspondent Matthew Moore (SMH, Age), Mr Mahendra said he believed that Australia has been dragging its feet in regard to the extradition of Quassey to Australia because there are major questions about the sinking of SIEVX that it does not want answered.
Mr Mahendra told Moore that Australia's efforts to pursue Quassey appeared half-hearted:
'Australia's ambassador never talked to me about the case of Abu Quassey... There is no official interest from [Australia's] Minister of Legals [Justice], no diplomatic note sent by the Australian Government to our Government, compared with the Egyptians... I think the Egyptian Government is more serious compared with the Australian Government regarding the case of Abu Quassey. That is my feeling.'
The man who has led the campaign to bring Quassey to trial in Australia or Indonesia for his part in the 353 deaths on SIEVX, Tony Kevin, said today that Mr Mahendra's statement represents a major breakthrough in the campaign:
'Now, not only the Australian Senate in its two December 2002 SIEVX motions [1
], but also the Indonesian Government, have seen the ugly reality: that the Australian Government fears the truth of SIEVX coming out in a Quassey trial.'
'The Indonesian and Egyptian Governments are approaching this matter with integrity. The Australian Government is not.'
'It's time now for the Opposition Parties to come out strongly at high level. Mr Mahendra's strong statement opens the door to justice . They have a golden opportunity now to press the government hard on this scandal. If, that is, our country is serious about the principle of one indivisible justice for all.'
In January Australia asked Indonesia for 'legal cooperation' to conduct a joint investigation into Abu Quassey. Mahendra told Moore that this could have paved the way for Quassey to be brought to Australia.
Unless Justice Minister Ellison and AFP Commissioner Keelty take up Mr Mahendra's challenge and begin high level negotiations with Jakarta to bring Quassey to Australia, then it appears that Quassey will be extradited to Cairo sometime in the next ten days.