Man behind boat tragedy gets jail term

Dawood Amiri of Afghanistan arrives at his trial in Jakarta, Indonesia. An Indonesian court has sentenced Amiri to six years in prison for smuggling asylum seekers to Australia. Photo: APRead more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/man-behind-boat-tragedy-gets-jail-term-20130220-2erxd.html#ixzz2LcvOiXOu

Dawood Amiri of Afghanistan arrives at his trial in Jakarta, Indonesia. An Indonesian court has sentenced Amiri to six years in prison for smuggling asylum seekers to Australia. Photo: AP

AN AFGHAN people smuggler who helped organise a deadly boat last year that altered the course of the asylum seeker debate has been sentenced to six years in an Indonesian prison

Dawood Amiri, 26, also known as »Irfan», admitted he was a »co-ordinator» for several smuggling syndicates

He was also fined 750 million rupiah ($76,000) after being found guilty of people smuggling, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in jail under Indonesia’s immigration laws. If he cannot pay the fine, he is liable for another six months in jail. Prosecutors had demanded a seven-year term

Amiri, an ethnic Hazara, denies he is a kingpin of the smuggling racket, but has admitted that he helped arrange people to travel on four boats to Australia last year
Amiri was arrested on June 27 last year, less than a week after an overloaded boat he had helped organise sank on the way to Christmas Island with 204 asylum seekers aboard. At least 92 died that day

The sinking of that boat and then another a few days later, which killed four, prompted Labor to bring its Malaysian proposal back into Parliament

The failure of that debate to change the law led the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, to appoint the Angus Houston-led committee, which in turn prompted her to reverse her long-standing opposition to processing asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Islan.

Amiri has said he was responsible for organising 52 Hazara people from Afghanistan to come to the landing place for the June 21 trip

He then kept in contact with them through the four days of their ill-fated journey

Source: www.smh.com.au

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