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.
Quassey - Ellison Claims No Jurisdiction
|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
13 December 2002
Justice Minister Chris Ellison responded yesterday to Andrew Bartlett's Questions on Notice of 4 December regarding investigations into the possibility of prosecuting Abu Quassey.
Ellison was more specific than Senator Campbell on one particular and very important point:
In relation to a potential murder charge in either the
Australian or Indonesian jurisdiction, the AFP has not been
able to establish the location where SIEV X sank, therefore,
it is not possible to establish the relevant jurisdiction for
any prosecution relating to the deaths on board.
What Ellison seems to be claiming is that Quassey cannot be charged under either Australian or Indonesian jurisdiction for the deaths on SIEVX.
In this way the CMI Report's professed uncertainty as to where SIEVX sank has helped to create a situation where Ellison can make the above claim. (CMI Report, ch.8, paras 8.5, 8.144)
The evidence Tony Kevin offered the CMI Committee on 1 May as to where the boat sank was confirmed later by the Jakarta Harbor Master's report of where the survivors were picked up - an official Indonesian government document - and by the PM&C Task Force minutes and DIMIA Intelligence Note for Mr Ruddock of 23 October 2001. (Both documents of great weight and credibility)
No substantiated evidence has ever been offered for the boat sinking anywhere but 50-65 miles south of Indonesia in international waters.
We believe that this latest claim by Ellison is bogus and hope it will be exposed for the misrepresentation of evidence tabled in the Senate Committee that it is.
We believe (we are currently seeking legal advice on this) that if it can be established that the boat sank in international waters then Indonesian sovereignty is not engaged and the issue of where the boat was heading - Christmas Island - then provides the basis for an Australian prosecution of Quassey on homicide related charges arising out of deaths on the high seas.
Remember that on 11 July in the CMI Committee, Keelty referred to a possibility of such a prosecution in these terms:
I believe that, based on the evidence available to the AFP, we can establish that the alleged organiser of SIEVX, whose actions led to the deaths of 353 persons on board, could possibly be charged with offences associated with those deaths. The AFP is currently interviewing witnesses in Australia and is seeking the cooperation of Indonesian National Police to gather further evidence to support any potential future prosecution for those matters. In this circumstance it is important to note that the criminal prosecution may not be dictated by where the vessel sank but it may be determined by the vessel's intended point of arrival.
[emphasis added] (CMI 1927
Other SIEVX Related News