Pacific Solution for Justice

With regards to Australian Government's bribery payments to smugglers (boat crew), two simple questions are (1) who made the decision to pay that money and (2) who signed onto the cheque. We know that $32,000 USD doesn't come out of DIBP officials' private bank accounts. Nor it was being paid because of the DIBP officials took a pity on the Indonesian smuggling crew.

If the Minister for Immigration had made that decision to pay to the smugglers, Australian Government is complicit in that crime. The DIBP or ASIS (if any) officers will be escaped from criminal liability in Australia (Not quite so on international settings, see Submission. 1, Senate Inquiry).

If the bribery payments were made without the approval of Minister, the onus is on the hand that signed the $32,000 USD cheque. Or if there is no trace of that account, the onus will be on the last DIBP officer who handed that cash over to the crew.

In both cases, those officers involved are not being exempted in smuggling charges in Indonesian Courts, since both Australia and Indonesia are signatories to the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants (See Sub.1, page 3):

"Other states which are parties to the Protocol and have implemented its offences would have jurisdiction to prosecute foreigners, including Australians, in their courts. People smuggling and assisting smuggling are offences under Indonesian law (article 120 and 124 of Law 6/2011 on Immigration). Just as Australia has successfully sought the extradition of suspected people smugglers from some other countries, it may be possible for Indonesia to request the extradition of suspected Australian smugglers."

In addition to the Protocol for Smuggling of Migrants, Australia and Indonesia had signed the Lambok Treaty in 2006 (see detail on Submission 8, page 13). Whilst the details of that treaty doesn't seem to be available to the analysts, it appears to cover matters on people trafficking broadly. Also under current government in August 2014, an additional Code of Conduct for implementing the Lambok Treaty were to have signed. Indonesian authorities had already expressed disappointment about the violation of that Code of Conduct in relation to bribery payments to smugglers.

Continued silence by Australian Government on the payments to smugglers warrants this matter to be referred to the Indonesian authorities. Friends, its about time to alert to any of your Indonesian citizens or civil rights groups. We do need our friends in the Pacific to help the justice done. -- In solidarity, U Ne Oo, Sydney.


[#1] Submission to Senate No. 1 by Univ. of NSW.

[#2] Submission to Senate No. 8 by Univ. of QLD.

[#3] By hook of by crook, report by Amnesty International.

Find on Facebook: