27 December... The verdict in the case of an Egyptian accused of killing 350 Indonesians

By Mohammad Monazeh
Al Gomhuria
26 October 2003

[We are grateful to Ghassan Nakhoul for providing this translation.]

Abeen Criminal Court has reserved its verdict in the case of the Egyptian immigrant, Mutaz Attia Mohammad, who is accused of manslaughter against 350 Indonesians, to a hearing on 27 December.

The court session was held under the presidency of Chancellor Issam Motarid, in the presence of the Head of Abdeen Prosecution Rami Bashir and Secretary Khaled Omar.

In the beginning of the court session, the accused was charged of two counts of manslaughter and smuggling the victims and others to Australia. He denied the charges.

The Head of Prosecution Rami Bashir said that the accused had been arrested in Indonesia for his involvement in people smuggling to Australia on several occasions... And during the ill fated trip, 350 people drowned and 51 survived. The Head of Prosecution presented the court with six big files containing thousands of papers on the investigations conducted on the case in Indonesia and on the testimonies given by survivors and witnesses.

The Head of Prosecution added that an Iraqi accomplice called Khaled Sharif Dawood had been arrested in Sweden, and that the latter had confessed in interrogations conducted by the Australian authorities that the boat was not seaworthy and there wasn't enough life jackets on board.

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