12 Aug 2010

People smuggler convicted in Perth

10:42 am on 12 August 2010

A man has been convicted by a jury in Western Australia of helping to smuggle more than 500 people from Indonesia to Christmas Island.

Hadi Ahmadi, 35, an Iranian-Iraqi national, was brought to Perth last year after President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia approved his extradition on charges of helping to organise four boats of asylum seekers who travelled to Christmas Island in 2001.

He was found guilty of helping organise two boats carrying more than 550 people.

Ahmadi was found not guilty of a third charge, while the jury could not reach a verdict on a fourth.

The ABC reprots Ahmadi has always protested his innocence. During previous court appearances, he claimed he was being made a political scapegoat.

He faces a possible maximum prison term of 20 years.