'Minor' smugglers to be sent home

FOUR people-smugglers will be returned to Indonesia after claiming they were minors when arrested, Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said on Friday.

While not a pardon, the smugglers will be released after their cases were reviewed by the Federal Government.

Ms Roxon said minors did not belong in adult gaols.

"Further information has raised sufficient doubt that two of these men may have been minors at the time of the offence which warrants granting them early release on licence," she said.

"Another two crew members who were part of the review and were close to completing their non-parole periods will also be released from prison early.

"This is not a pardon. These four men crewed people smuggling vessels that came to Australia, all of them pleaded guilty to that, and they were convicted of that offence."



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