Jail sought for NZ-bound people smugglers

  • 21/01/2016
Jail sought for NZ-bound people smugglers

Prosecutors want eight years' jail for two Indonesian fishermen who crewed a vessel for people smugglers bound for New Zealand.

Muhammad Jabar and Dahrani, both 25, agreed to take 25 people to Christmas Island, but their boat was intercepted by Australian officials and turned back.

Prosecutor John Franky on Wednesday asked Oelamasi District Court, in West Timor, for eight years' jail and an additional Rp 500 million (NZ$56,000) fine or six months' jail.

The maximum jail sentence is 15 years.

The men are not represented by a lawyer and Muhammad told the court only, "We ask the judges to give us leniency."

They may speak further in their own defence next week.

The case follows the five-year sentences handed down on Thursday to Yohanis Humiang, 35, and five crew, whose New Zealand-bound boat was turned back in May.

Yohanis has said he negotiated with an Australian official a US$32,000 payment that had Jakarta demanding answers from Canberra about its Operation Sovereign Borders strategy.

Yohanis had begged for a lenient sentence and questioned why others higher up in the smuggling network had not been charged.

He and the others were promised as little as $10,000 each to undertake the risky voyage.

NZN