Asylum seekers feared that SIEV-X would go down, a court reportedly said

The trial ended with the drowning of 353 people, 146 of them children.

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Radhi, 45, is not charged with the deaths but faces one count of bringing groups of non-citizens into Australia, while two men have already been jailed for their involvement.

About 13 hours into the trip, the boat broke down, Raad Zubari, who escaped the boat before its passengers were in danger, told the court on Thursday.

He said the captain wants to return to Indonesia saying it is “impossible to continue” due to the type of ship and the number of people on board.

Mr Zubari said he had seen people threatening the captain many times.

“[The captain] knows about the boat and the state of the sea and the waves so he stopped many times. But every time they tried to convince him with money or once they threatened him and beat him, “Mr Zubari said through an interpreter.

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Image to read more article '' Hard to forgive ': Scars deepen 20 years after SIEV X boat tragedy'

Quasy Al Majid, who boarded a fishing boat before the SIEV-X sank, earlier told the audience that some people had offered the captain money when he did not want to continue the trip.

The captain replied that he did not want money and the boat would not reach Australia, according to Mr Al Majid’s statement read in court.

Mr Al Majid said he saw the captain’s Indonesian assistant hit his head, while a woman with a knife threatened to kill the captain if he did not continue the journey.

The hearing was told Mahmod Yussef and his wife boarded the ship but disembarked before it left, returning to shore on a smaller boat.

Mr Yussef said he told a man behind the scheme the ship would sink.

“(I said) we can’t go on, I don’t want to go because a lot of people are on board,” he added.

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The case against Radhi suggests he played an “facilitating” role before the fateful trip left Indonesia, Commonwealth prosecutor Daniel Caruana said at the start of the hearing.

Some witnesses say he was present when money was being negotiated, but they “more consistently” remembered him as an organizer, Caruana said.

Much of the charge centers on maintaining logistics, including buses between hotels and beaches.

Witnesses said they were taken by bus to a hotel in Sumatra where they spent days waiting for the boat.

But there were up to eight rooms only for women and children, so the men stayed on the hotel grounds.

Radhi surrendered two years ago after deciding to stop pursuing appeals against his extradition from New Zealand.

An arrest warrant was issued in Brisbane Magistrates Court for him in 2011 but the trial was postponed while his qualification for extradition was argued in courts in New Zealand, where he has lived with his wife and three children since 2009.

The engagement hearing was postponed until December 1 for submissions.

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