Accused people smuggler a liar, court toldJune 3, 2005
AN alleged people smuggler linked to a voyage to Australia that killed 353 asylum seekers lied when he said he didn't help organise the ill-fated journey, a Brisbane court has heard.
Khaleed Shnayf Daoed, 37, has pleaded not guilty in the Supreme Court in Brisbane to one charge of people smuggling over the SIEV-X disaster in October, 2001.
The 353 asylum seekers died when the boat capsized in Indonesian waters and only 45 people survived.
Daoed has also pleaded not guilty to aiding the illegal importation of 147 Iraqi asylum seekers to Australia on another Suspected Illegal Entry Vessel in August, 2001.
The prosecution does not hold Daoed responsible for the deaths of the asylum seekers, but argues he was second in charge to smuggling giant Abu Quassey in organising the SIEV-X journey.
Quassey is serving seven years in an Egyptian jail for the deaths of the people on the SIEV-X.
In relation to the second boat, the prosecution alleges Daoed played an assistant role to Quassey.
In his summing up to the jury, prosecutor Glen Rice today said Daoed's denials of people smuggling had been contradicted by the trial's witnesses.
"You have a large and vital role to play in these proceedings," Mr Rice said.
"You are the experts in seeing when someone is telling you lies and someone in this case is telling you lies."
He pointed out the seriousness with which the witnesses swore on the Koran, thereby suggesting to the jury they were not taking their responsibilities lightly.
Defence barrister Gary Long told the jury in his closing address that the prosecution's witnesses were inconsistent in their testimonies and the facts did not stand up to cross-examination.
The jury is expected to be sent out on Monday.