Stop pushing says Jakarta
Australian Financial Review
20 February 2003
Indonesia's Justice Minister, Yusril Izha Mahendra, has criticised Australia for its continuing efforts to secure the extradition of alleged people smuggler Abu Quassey, who is accused of organising a fateful voyage in 2001 in which 353 asylum seekers drowned.
In comments to Indonesian journalists on Tuesday, Mr Yusril said he regretted Australia's push to bring Mr Quassey before Australian law.
'I don't understand. Australia is not supposed to keep pushing us to fulfill this extradition request,' he said.
Indonesia told Australia during talks between President Megawati Soekarnoputri and Prime Minister John Howard in Jakarta on Saturday that it would not send Mr Quassey to Australia but deport him to his home country of Egypt.
Mr Yusril said Egyptian police would be invited to go to Indonesia to escort him home.
Mr Quassey is believed to be one of the smugglers who overloaded an unseaworthy boat with over 400 people and sent them on their way to Australia in October 2001.