Australia: Charges over boat people disaster

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The Independent Online

Three Indonesian men were charged with people smuggling yesterday after their rickety boat smashed into cliffs along the remote Christmas Island in December, killing an estimated 48 people aboard.

Abdul Rashid, 60, Hardi Han, 22, and Supriyadi, 32, are accused of trying to smuggle the Iraqi, Iranian and Kurdish asylum-seekers into Australia. They face up to 20 years in prison. The men did not enter pleas at Perth magistrates' court and were returned to custody until their next hearing on 15 February.