SIEV X disaster: Iraqi man charged in Australia in connection with deaths of 350 people

An Iraqi guy has been charged in Australia with people-trafficking in reference to the drowning deaths of greater than 350 asylum seekers within the 2001 SIEV X tragedy.

Maythem Radhi, 43, used to be arrested at Brisbane airport overdue Friday after being extradited from New Zealand and has been charged with “establishing teams of non-citizens into Australia”, police say.

He faces as much as 10 years in jail if convicted.

The Australian federal police claims Radhi used to be a member of a people-smuggling syndicate that charged 421 most commonly Iraqi and Afghan refugees for a spot aboard an Indonesian fishing boat – designated via Australian government as Suspected Unlawful Access Vessel (SIEV) X – in October 2001.

The vessel sank in world waters south of Java on October 19 whilst en path to Australia’s Christmas Island, leaving 353 humans useless, 146 of them kids. 40-four survivors have been rescued day after today via an Indonesian fishing boat. A 45th survivor used to be rescued an additional 12 hours later via some other boat.

A few of the ones on board SIEV X have been attempting to enroll in members of the family already in Australia, however with whom they might no longer be reunited via aircraft as a result of visa restrictions.

Radhi seemed ahead of Brisbane magistrates court docket on Saturday and has been remanded in custody to reappear in court docket on 31 October.

“Police will allege in court docket that the person, then elderly 24, took bills from the passengers,” the Australian federal police stated in a commentary on Saturday, 18 years after the crisis.

“It is going to even be alleged that he helped facilitate the transportation and lodging of humans in Indonesia in preparation for his or her adventure to Australia.”

Radhi is the 3rd particular person to stand court docket for his or her function within the crisis.

Iraqi people-smuggler Khaleed Shnayf Daoed used to be extradited from Sweden to Australia in 2003 and gained a nine-year sentence two years later, with prosecutors portraying the then 36-year-old as a key organiser for Egyptian people-smuggler Abu Quassey.

Quassey used to be convicted in Egypt in December 2003 of inflicting demise via negligence and used to be sentenced to seven years in jail.

The AFP commissioner, Reece Kershaw, on Saturday stated the AFP used to be dedicated to bringing humans smugglers to justice regardless of how lengthy it could take.

“Greater than 350 humans died on this tragedy,” Kershaw stated. “They’re owed justice and we stay dedicated to deterring those that benefit from this industry.”

The SIEV-X tragedy stays a seismic tournament in shaping Australia’s migration insurance policies against asylum seekers arriving via boat.

The sinking took place all through the 2001 Australian federal election marketing campaign and after the Tampa disaster had made boat arrivals a key, and deeply arguable, election factor.

The incumbent Liberal high minister, John Howard, had deployed the army and AFP to forestall boats achieving Australian waters and world criminal duty to rescue humans from distressed vessels.

A 2002 Senate inquiry into the youngsters overboard affair, Tampa disaster and SIEV X discovered that, whilst there have been a number of gaps within the chain of reporting of intelligence on boat arrivals, it might to find no grounds for believing that negligence or dereliction of responsibility used to be dedicated in terms of SIEV X.

“The committee, nonetheless, reveals it irritating that no overview of the SIEV X episode used to be carried out via any company within the aftermath of the tragedy. No such overview took place till after the committee’s inquiry had began and public controversy advanced over the Australian reaction to SIEV X,” it stated.

“Whilst there have been cheap grounds to give an explanation for the Australian reaction to SIEV X, the committee reveals it atypical that a main human crisis may just happen within the neighborhood of a theatre of in depth Australian operations, and stay undetected till 3 days after the development, with none worry being raised inside intelligence and resolution making circles.”

A memorial to the sufferers of SIEV X stands at the shores of Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra.

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