Australian trial of alleged people smuggler hears witness horror tales

ABC Radio Australia
6 April 2004

The committal hearing of the alleged people smuggler, Khaled Daoed, continues today in the Magistrates Court of the northern Australian city of Brisbane.

Our reporter, Jason Rawlins, says that Daoed faces numerous charges arising from the ill-fated voyage of an Indonesian fishing boat known as the SIEV X.

The boat sank in 2001 enroute to Christmas Island with the loss of more than 350 lives.

Ity is alleged that Daoed was instrumental in helping to organise the voyage of more than 400 mainly Iraqi asylum-seekers.

In court, three of the survivors told of their dealings with Daoed and with convicted people smuggler, Abu Quassey, leading up to the attempt to travel to Australia.

One of the witnesses, Amal Hassan al Basry, also recalled her terror when the boat sank.

She said there weren't enough life jackets and that while she was in the water her son swam to her to tell her that he loved her.

She told the court that she spent more than 20 hours in the water before being rescued.

06/04/2004 08:21:35 | ABC Radio Australia News


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