At Risk Of 20 Years Prison
1 October 2003
[This article was translated by Helen Brooks in Sweden.]
Witnesses identify Sandviken resident as responsible for people smuggling
The refugee catastrophe in October 2001, whereby 353 were killed, is still a big media issue in Australia and Indonesia, when the overloaded wooden fishing boat sank and only 44 people survived.
In custody in Gävle is a 35 year old Sandviken resident, who is also an Iraqi citizen, waiting to see if Sweden's government will decide if he should be extradited to Australia so to face trial for this and even another people smuggling [incident] - a crime that can give up to 20 years prison.
He is accused of being one of the head men behind the organised smuggling.
Reports in foreign media and on special web sites which merely deal with when the boat SIEV X sank, are very intensive. The interest in this incident is greater than one could expect and there are many touching testimonies, whereby survivors themselves discuss how they saw their nearest and dearest die in the water. Among the dead were 146 children.
An Egyptian, whom it is believed the Sandviken resident co-worked with, is already standing trial in his homeland. He denies the crime.
So does the Sandviken resident.
According to Radio Gävleborg, the 35 year old however acknowledged that he was in the vicinity in Indonesia but merely to help the Afghani and Iraqi refugees.
The 35 year old has also been identified by people who were close to  this smuggling [incident]. They had seen him in Indonesia when the overloaded boat left land for Australia. Prosecutor Magnus Berggren would not clarify if the witnesses are of the same 44 survivors.
It is clear [however] that the Sandviken resident was identified where he lived in his flat in Vallhov. If it were someone in Sandviken who recognised him again, the prosecutor would not reveal.
The whole of the matter is covered with secrecy by request of Australia.
Suspicions fell on the 35 year old immediately after this worst boating catastrophe occured as, he already then in October , had been identified by refugees. 
He was seized by Indonesian police, interrogated but released due to lack of proof.
The UN's refugee organisation UNHCR, had already given the 35 year old refugee status and organised so that Sweden would take him. He received his residence permit some months later and flew directly into the country.
1. 'close to' as in physically nearby, (nära) - implying others not members of the smuggling gang, eg the refugees . I could not say 'associated with', (associera in Swedish), as this could have accusational tones which aren't in the original Swedish.
2. 'Sekretessbelagt' is a legal term that means that something has been made confidential/secret, eg patients' journals or court proceedings.
3 Sentence vague in the Swedish therefore not able to give clear translation.
Riskerar 20 års fängelse
Flyktingkatastrofen i oktober 2001 då 353 människor omkom är fortfarande ett stort medialt ämne i Australien och Indonesien, där den överfulla fiskebåten av trä sjönk och endast 44 personer överlevde. På häktet i Gävle sitter en 35-årig Sandvikenbo, som också är irakisk medborgare, och väntar på att Sveriges regering ska besluta om han ska utlämnas till Australien för att ställas inför rätta för den här och även annan människosmuggling - ett brott som kan ge 20 års fängelse. Han misstänks vara en av huvudmännen bakom den organiserade smugglingen.
Det gör även Sandvikenbon.
Han greps av indonesisk polis, förhördes men släpptes i brist på bevis. Då hade redan FN:s flyktingorgan UNHCR gett 35-åringen flyktingstatus och ordnade så att Sverige skulle ta emot honom. Uppehållstillståndet fick han några månader senare och flögs direkt in i landet.