Iraqi Siev-X suspect faces extradition
Sydney Morning Herald
24 May 2003
An alleged people smuggler accused of involvement in the deaths of more than 350 asylum seekers faces extradition to Australia after being seized in Sweden.
Khaleed Shnayf Daoed was arrested by Swedish authorities following a request by Australia which had tracked him to Scandinavia, the federal Justice Minister, Chris Ellison, said yesterday.
If returned to Australia and convicted, Daoed could spend up to 20 years in jail.
Daoed, an Iraqi, is alleged to have played a key role in organising the voyage of the ill-fated vessel dubbed Siev-X. The overloaded boat sank off Indonesia in October 2001, killing 353 Afghanis and Iraqis, including more than 100 children.
Daoed is suspected of being an accomplice of people smuggler Abu Quassey, whom Australian authorities have also been searching for. Quassey was recently deported from Indonesia to Egypt.
Mr Ellison said the Government was committed to extraditing both men.
"We look forward to both Mr Abu Quassey and Mr Khaleed Daoed appearing in Australia before Australian courts to face Australian justice."
Australia has an extradition treaty with Sweden which enabled authorities to issue a provisional warrant for Daoed's arrest. Mr Ellison was unsure how long extradition would take, but said: "We're issuing a formal request for extradition as we speak."
Australian officials would not say where in Sweden Daoed was arrested for operational reasons.
Mr Ellison said Australia was still negotiating with authorities in Egypt to extradite Quassey.
"If we can't secure his extradition to Australia, then we stand ready to assist the Egyptian authorities in any prosecution of Abu Quassey."