26 Feb 2007

Suspected Sri Lankan asylum seekers could still be sent to Nauru

4:01 pm on 26 February 2007

An Australian immigration spokesperson says the eighty-five suspected Sri Lankan asylum seekers intercepted near Christmas Island last week were taken to Christmas Island on Saturday.

The spokesperson says Australia is looking at all options over where to send the boatpeople, including to the detention camp on Nauru.

But there are media reports of a secret deal between Indonesia and Australia to have the men repatriated to their homeland via Indonesia without processing their expected claims for asylum.

The spokesperson says it is having initial talks with the Indonesian and Nauru governments.

She says any suggestion Australia might agree to a deal that could see refugees repatriated to a country where they face prosecution is wrong.