The Indonesian government says it is shocked by and is investigating claims that Australian officials paid people smugglers to return asylum seekers, stating it could be classified as “bribery” or “even people smuggling”.
In comments which could further strain the tense relationship with Indonesia, Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said: “If it is true, it’s very concerning that a Government official gave money to people smugglers to push back the boat to the middle of the sea.
Criticising the Abbott Government’s turn back the boats policy, Mr Nasir said it was very concerning. “It’s endangering life, in our opinion, that they were in the middle of the sea and (their boat) was pushed back.
The original article can be found at www.smh.com.au