29 Jan 2014

People smuggler sentenced to prison

9:36 am on 29 January 2014

A people smuggler responsible for the deaths of about 100 asylum seekers has been sentenced to prison in Indonesia for seven years.

Hasan Billu, 54, from Pakistan, faced the east Jakarta district court on Tuesday on charges of running a people smuggling operation.

The ABC reports the charges related to at least two boats that were sent to Australia, one in June 2012 and another last February.

The first boat sank north of Christmas Island killing about 100 people.

The second voyage, in February 2013, made it safely to Christmas Island.

Billu was ordered to spend seven years behind bars and pay a fine of 800 million Rupiah (about $A75,000).

The ABC reports the sentence was three years lighter than the 10 years sought by prosecutors.

Billu denied the charges but will not appeal, saying there is no use because police have framed him.