157 asylum seekers to be transferred to Australian mainland
The Australian government’s stretch of six months without an asylum seeker boat passenger arriving in Australia is set to end, as 157 Sri Lankan Tamils who have spent four weeks in limbo aboard the Customs Ocean Protector will be brought to the Australian mainland on Saturday.
According to media Airbus 8320 has been booked to travel from Cocos Island to Curtin detention centre in north Western Australia on Saturday.
A source said immigration officials had also tried to book accommodation on Cocos Islands on Saturday to facilitate the transfer and flight for the asylum seekers.
According to the Guardian Australia, the customs boat is currently on its way to Cocos Island. T
The 157 asylum seekers were intercepted by Australian officials on June 28th.
If the passengers are bought to the Australian mainland, lawyers say it casts doubt over whether core elements the High Court challenge can proceed before the court.
The case was to be the first comprehensive test of whether the government has the power to intercept boats on the high seas.