Man in court over Siev-X sinkingBy Marian Wilkinson in Brisbane
May 17, 2005 - 2:03PM
A man accused of helping to organise a people-smuggling operation that helped more than 400 passengers board the ill-fated Siev-X today pleaded not guilty in the Supreme Court in Brisbane.
Khaleed Shanayf Daoed, an Iraqi refugee, is charged with two counts of aiding in people smuggling.
Two Iraqi brothers-in-law, who lost 14 members of their family in the Siev-X tragedy, watched as prosecutor Glen Rice told the jury that Daoed helped bring men, women and children to a beach in Sumatra, Indonesia, and accompanied them as they were ferried out to the Siev-X in a motor boat.
About 353 people drowned when the Siev-X capsized on October 19, 2001, between Sumatra and Christmas Island. It was one of the worst maritime disasters in those waters.
Witnesses who survived the tragedy have come from Sydney, Adelaide and around the world - including Finland and New Zealand - to give evidence in the case.
The accused is the only person charged in Australia in relation to the disaster.
Daoed is alleged to have worked for an Egyptian people-smuggler, Abu Quassey, who is in jail in Egypt.
The trial is expected to run for at least three weeks.
The first Crown witness, Sadeq Razaq Al-Abodie, a survivor of the Siev-X sinking, today told the court he had travelled to Indonesia from Iraq with the hope of making it to Australia.
He is now a refugee in Finland.
The trial continues.