Siev X accused fights extradition from NZ

11:10 AEST Mon Dec 5 2011
Alastair Bull

An Iraqi man accused of involvement in the Siev X people-smuggling tragedy in 2001 is fighting extradition to Australia in a New Zealand court.

Maythem Radhi, 34, is accused of being one of three men responsible for trying to smuggle hundreds of asylum seekers on a boat which sank south of Indonesia in October 2001.

The sinking resulted in the death of 146 children, 142 women and 65 men. Another 45 were rescued by Indonesian fishermen after staying alive for 20 hours.

Radhi, who was arrested in New Zealand in July, kept his hands over his face to hide from television cameras during the entirety of Monday's hearing at Manukau District Court in Auckland.

It was the second day of a hearing before Judge Jonathan Moses.

Monday's hearing was largely devoted to legal arguments about extradition.

Judge Moses' decision is likely to be given in February next year.

If he decides Radhi should be extradited, the case will then go before the Minister of Immigration, who makes the final decision.

Two other men are serving prison sentences for their roles in the Siev X incident. Khaleed Daoed is serving a nine-year sentence in a Queensland prison for people smuggling after a 2005 conviction, and Abu Quassey was sentenced to seven years in an Egyptian jail.


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