People Smuggler found Guilty for Second Time

West Australian
Saturday March 25, 2005
by Natash Grantham

A Palestinian man has been convicted for the second time over a people smuggling operation that bought hundreds of Iraquis and Iranians to Australia in the two years to September 2001.

A District Court jury yesterday found Keis Ad Rahim Asfoor guilty of seven of the ten charges relating to trips that ended with hundreds of boat people being arrested at Ashmore reef and taken to detention.

The jury found Asfoor, 34, marshalled people to collection points mostly ini Jakarta and Lombok, then on to boats bound for Australia. He sometimes used a false name. The boats were interercepted at Ashmore reef, 610km north of Broome, and their passengers detained. Many gave evidence during the 6 week retrial.

The trial was the second for Asfoor, who was convicted in 2004 of 12 charges relating to the same trips. He has been in custody since he flew to Australia on a false passport in 2001.

Asfoor was then jailed for 12 years but the Court of Criminal Appeal ordered a retrial when it found errors in Judge Shauna Deans's jury address over identification evidence.

Judge Peter Martino will sentence Asfoor next Friday. end

X-URL: not online: transcribed from hard copy by Kaye Bernard

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