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Posted: Mon, 9 Dec 2002 20:06 AEDT

Diplomat questions moves to extradite alleged people smuggler

Former Australian diplomat Tony Klein [sic], who has campaigned for a judicial inquiry into the so-called SIEV X incident, has questioned moves to extradite an alleged people smuggler.

The Australian Federal Police has issued a new warrant for the arrest of an Egyptian man, Abu Quassey, alleging he organised the ill-fated voyage from Indonesia.

The boat sank en route to Christmas Island in October last year, drowning more than 350 asylum seekers.

Mr Klein says Australia will not be able to extradite the man under the warrant because people-smuggling is not a crime in Indonesia.

"Indonesia hasn't changed its people smuggling law for the past three years despite strong pressure from Australia," he said.

"I don't see any reason why they would change it now, but both sides regard homicide as an indictable and extraditable offence so that's the route we should be pursuing.

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