The West

Two guilty of people smuggling
Ill-fated voyage ended in deaths of 102 asylum seekers and two crew.

Two Indonesian nationals accused of organising an asylum seeker boat which sank causing the drowning deaths of more than 100 people have been found guilty of people smuggling.

Indonesian nationals Boy Djara and Justhen have been on trial at Perth District Court accused of being involved in an ill-fated people smuggling voyage that led to the deaths of 102 people and two crew about 200km from Christmas Island in June 2012.

Boy Djara was found guilty of five charges of assisting illegal non-citizens into Australia in a way that gave rise to death or injury, and one of assisting non-citizens into the country.

Justhen was acquitted of the more serious charges, but also found guilty of one charge of assisting non-citizens into the country.

The pair had pleaded not guilty to all the charges, but after a two-week trial and more than seven hours of deliberation, the jury returned the guilty verdicts.

The court had been told how the small wooden fishing vessel was packed with 210 male passengers, mostly from Pakistan and Afghanistan, when it started taking on water before eventually capsizing.

Rescuers told of how fading light and sea swells hampered the efforts to search for survivors in the water, while the jury also heard survivors tell of their desperation to be rescued.

The sinking prompted a coroner's inquest into the demise of the vessel, which was codenamed Siev 358, which criticised Australian Customs chiefs over their "information sharing" with Indonesian counterparts.

The West Australian

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