PERTH: Australia’s most sought-after people-smuggling suspect Sayed Omeid denied plea for bail after appearance in Perth court, who fought his extradition from Malaysia for several years.
He has pleaded not guilty to three counts of organising groups of non-citizens to be brought to Australia in 2001.
He appeared in Perth Magistrates Court late yesterday via video link from Hakea Prison, with his lawyer arguing during a bail application that his client did not have proper access in jail to documents he needed to prepare his case.
The court also heard that Omeid was not getting specialist health treatment he needed behind bars for a physical deformity that caused him to limp.
Omeid, who has a wife in Indonesia and a sick mother in Iraq, addressed the court through an interpreter and requested release so he could find a new lawyer because his current lawyer was no longer available.
Prosecutors argued during their submissions that Omeid was a flight risk.
The magistrate noted that Omeid did not have “true ties” to WA and ruled that the charges against him were too serious to warrant his release.
The Iraqi man was arrested in Malaysia in 2010 and was eventually brought to Australia in November last year.
At the time of his deportation, Operation Sovereign Borders commander Angus Campbell alleged Omeid was the principal organiser of three vessels known as Flinders, Nullawarre and Conara that collectively carried a total of 763 people from Indonesia to Australia in 2001.
Omeid will appear in Perth District Court on December 5 for a trial listing hearing.
Each offence carries a maximum jail term of 20 years.