Dems call for people smuggler inquiry

Age
July 14, 2005

The Australian Democrats want an independent inquiry into the deaths of 353 asylum seekers who drowned when their cramped boat capsized en route to Australia.

Democrats deputy leader Andrew Bartlett said an inquiry would get to bottom of just who was involved in the ill-fated voyage of the SIEV-X, which sank near Indonesia in October, 2001.

"(An inquiry is vital), particularly when you consider there was evidence emerging within the trial of the involvement of the Indonesian military," Senator Bartlett said.

The call followed the jailing of Iraqi man Khaleed Shnayf Daoed, 37, for his role in organising the voyage to Australia.

Daoed was sentenced in the Supreme Court at Brisbane to nine years in prison.

However - because of a non-parole period of four-and-a-half years, and with 785 days in custody declared time already served - he is eligible for parole in about two-and-a-half years.

2005 AAP

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