What is Australia doing to bring this man to justice?
Abu Quassey - the organiser of the fatal SIEVX voyage on which 353 people lost their lives - due to be released from prison in Indonesia on 1 January after serving a 6 month sentence for minor immigration offences.
Senate Moves On Quassey!
|We say to the AFP and the Australian Government - this is the real test
of your sincerity in regard to SIEVX. Bring Quassey to justice in
Australia for his part in the mass killings of those on board the SIEVX. If
you have nothing to fear from Quassey's evidence in an Australian court
and what he might reveal about the Australian People Smuggling
Disruption Program in Indonesia then you will find a way to bring him
10 December 2002 (update)
We have two things to celebrate today. Firstly, Senator Faulkner's motion calling for a full independent judicial inquiry into the People Smuggling Disruption Program in Indonesia and the sinking of SIEVX, which was given notice of yesterday, passed today without discussion.
Secondly, a short while ago, Labor Senator Jacinta Collins, on behalf of the Opposition Parties in the Senate gave notice of a second motion regarding bringing Abu Quassey to justice for his crimes, including the mass killings aboard SIEVX. [To see the full text of the motion click here.]
This second motion gives very clear direction to the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Government as to what has to be done in relation to Abu Quassey.
On the basis of these two wonderful motions [1, 2] tabled in the Senate this week, we now have a firm basis to seek the cooperation of the Indonesian government to do all in its power to help bring to justice all those responsible for the 353 deaths on SIEVX.
These two motions lay a solid foundation for continued efforts to get to the bottom of the SIEVX tragedy and are a vindication of the efforts and sacrifice of all those who have been working for accountability on these very important matters for the last ten months.
Our thanks go to all the non-government senators for their support of these two important public interest motions.
Some Good News on SIEVX!
10 December 2002 (update)
There is a ray of light at the end of the tunnel for all those who have been following the SIEVX Affair closely.
Later today, the Opposition Parties will be moving a majority motion in the Senate calling for a full independent judicial inquiry into the people smuggling disruption program in Indonesia and the circumstances surrounding the sinking of SIEVX. [To see the full text of the motion click here.]
This is a welcome first step on the road to accountability for SIEVX . We are very glad that the Opposition Parties as a whole have put their combined weight behind the brave efforts of individual senators (Cook, Faulkner, Collins and Bartlett) and others to expose the gaps and misrepresentations in the Government witnesses' oral and written testimony in the whole SIEVX Affair and the People Smuggling Disruption Program in Indonesia.
This motion - and the second motion on Abu Quassey which we hope will follow it - will send a strong signal of Parliamentary concern to the Howard Government that they cannot continue to try and sweep the SIEVX story under the carpet.
This story will not die; it will continue to grow and fester until the government does the responsible thing and sets up a full independent judicial inquiry and also ensures that Abu Quassey does not go free.
Other SIEVX Related News
Keelty Puts Up A Smokescreen On Quassey & SIEVX
10 December 2002
Yesterday, the Australian Federal Police issued a media release stating that they had issued a warrant for the arrest of Abu Quassey for Migration Act offences for smuggling people in regard to the SIEVX voyage.
In issuing this warrant - the fourth for Quassey on people smuggling charges, but the first to deal with SIEVX - it appears that the AFP is trying to relieve pressures generated by Senator Bartlett's questions in the Senate last week and Senators Collins and Faulkner's questions to AFP Commissioner Keelty in Senate Estimates on 20 November regarding Abu Quassey.
Taking out a fourth warrant for Quassey's arrest is a redundant and meaningless action by the AFP, as whether they issue one or 100 more people smuggling warrants, these will not produce Quassey's extradition to Australia under current Indonesian law.
As the AFP is well aware, people-smuggling is not currently a crime in Indonesia and therefore Australia cannot extradite Quassey under such charges when he is released from jail in Indonesia in three weeks' time. It's virtually certain Indonesia will not pass a people smuggling law in this timeframe (maybe they never will).
Rather than issuing another unenforceable warrant for Migration Act offences, what is needed is a genuine and effective Australian Government effort to persuade the Indonesian Government to hold Quassey in prison and to extradite him to Australia as soon as possible in 2003 on homicide-related charges regarding the 353 deaths on SIEVX. Homicide is an extraditable crime in both countries now.
We say to the AFP and the Australian Government - this is the real test of your sincerity in regard to SIEVX. Bring Quassey to justice in Australia for his part in the mass killings of those on board the SIEVX. If you have nothing to fear from Quassey's evidence in an Australian court and what he might reveal about the Australian People Smuggling Disruption Program in Indonesia then you will find a way to bring him here.
The media release reference to Interpol warrants is another misleading furphy: Once Quassey is released, he will not exit Indonesia by any means that will enable Interpol to pick him up at airports. And if we are right about his links to Indonesian police disruption agents, he will have powerful help in disappearing. That's why it is so important to hold him now in jail until he can be brought here.
The clock is ticking...