Egyptian envoy asks Indonesia to hand over alleged people smuggler to Egypt
Jakarta Post
7 February 2003


JAKARTA (JP): Egyptian Ambassador to Indonesia Ezzat Saad el Sayed met Justice and Human Rights Minister Yusril Ihza Mahendra Thursday to convey the Egyptian government's request over the extradition of its citizen, who is an alleged people smuggler, to the country.

Moataz Attia Mohamed Hassan, alias Abu Quassey, is being held in an immigration detention center here after serving a six months jail term for visa violation.

The ambassador informed Yusril that Quassey could be tried in Egypt based on the Egyptian Penal Code, if the Australian authorities will present evidence to the Egyptian authorities.

He said that there is no legal ground for any country, including Australia, to have Quassey extradited.

Australia has earlier asked Justice Ministry to extradite Quassey to the country for a trial over people smuggling charges. Quassey is wanted for allegedly smuggling Afghan and Iraqi refugees to Australia last year in a ship that sank off Indonesia waters. Over 300 passengers died during the accident.

Yusril said that the Quassey's fate remained unresolved.

"So far, we have not decided whether to deport him to Australia or Egypt," he told reporters.

On Tuesday, Yusril said that the government might extradite Quassey to Egypt if the country can prosecute him over people smuggling charges. The government also considered to charge Quassey with document forgery under Indonesia jurisdiction.

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