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Tuesday, 8 February 2005
Page: 234

Senator Faulkner asked the Minister for Justice and Customs, upon notice, on 8 December 2004:

Did Abu Quassey, who was found guilty of charges related to people smuggling and sentenced to 7 years’ gaol on 27 December 2003 by an Egyptian court, appeal this decision; if so: (a) what assistance, if any, did the Australian Government provide to Egyptian authorities in relation to the appeal; and (b) what was the outcome of the appeal.

Senator Ellison (Minister for Justice and Customs) —The answer to the honourable senator’s question is as follows:

Yes, Abu Quassey did appeal the decision of an Egyptian court on 27 December 2003 which found him guilty of people smuggling related charges and sentenced him to 7 years gaol.

(a) Australia has provided material to Egypt to assist in the appeal, including information about Quassey’s people smuggling activities in Indonesia.

(b) On 24 November 2004, the South Cairo Court of First Instance - Abdeen Misdemeanours Appeals Court upheld Quassey’s conviction on both charges, while reducing his sentence to 5 years and 3 months in prison.