Indonesia to extradite human trafficker to Australia

Indonesia's justice minister said Tuesday that his country would extradite human trafficking kingpin Sayed Abbas to Australia next year.

The Afghan-born Abbas, who is about 30, was believed to be the most active human smuggler operating out of Indonesia, continuing to arrange voyages even after his arrest in August last year.

Justice and Human Rights Minister Amir Syamsuddin said he had discussed Abbas in a meeting with visiting Australian Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare.

"He has already gone through the justice process in Indonesia. He was arrested, held and tried. He will be extradited in 2013."

Abbas is suspected of having arranged the voyage of a vessel that sank in December, killing some 200 Australia-bound asylum seekers.

The Australian government has sought his extradition to face charges of human trafficking.

"Australia stands firm on its intention to extradite Abbas to Australia," Clare told reporters after the meeting, without confirming that the extradition had been agreed.

"The Australian government has made it clear we would seek to extradite him to Australia at the conclusion of his sentence," he added.

Syamsuddin also added that Indonesia would like to see Australia extradite Adrian Kiki Ariawan, a former Bank Surya chief who in 2002 was convicted in absentia of corruption and embezzlement over a $200 million fraud.

"This is a mutual bilateral understanding between Australia and Indonesia. I also hope that Kiki Ariawan will be extradited to Indonesia. But we will first extradite Abbas and one other person, and we'll see," he said.

Ariawan, who remains in custody in Australia as he fights an extradition order, faces a life sentence in Indonesia.

Syamsuddin did not name the other person Indonesia would extradite.

Australian media have reported a likely Abbas-Ariawan swap, but Syamsuddin denied an exchange.

Clare is on a visit to Indonesia together with Defence Minister Stephen Smith and transport minister Anthony Albanese.

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