Footballer faces Sydney court hours before AFC Champions League clash against Newcastle Jets

A report was filed by the flight crew to alert authorities on the ground and AFP officers were waiting at Sydney Airport for the plane’s arrival.

Mr Simic was arrested and taken to Botany Bay police station where he was charged with one count of committing an act of indecency without consent and one count of common assault on board an overseas flight, before he was released on conditional bail.

On Tuesday, Mr Simic appeared at the Downing Centre Local Court, dressed in a black tracksuit and white and silver sneakers.

He was accompanied by his lawyer Robert Haralovic, who described his client’s situation as «unenviable, to say the least».

«My client is a professional football player…he is playing tonight against Newcastle, in Newcastle. He arrived in Sydney on Sunday…he has been arrested, he’s here with the [Persija Jakarta] team,» Mr Haralovic told the court.

«There is a limited visa, this is a first time visit [to Australia]…he is a Croatian national.»

Magistrate Jennifer Atkinson acknowledged Mr Simic «had to get up [to Newcastle] for his match», but said she had to manage the criminal charges «like any other matter».

Marko Simic appeared at the Downing Centre Local Court just hours before his team, Persija Jakarta, were due to take the field against the Newcastle Jets.

Marko Simic appeared at the Downing Centre Local Court just hours before his team, Persija Jakarta, were due to take the field against the Newcastle Jets.Credit:AP

«I can put it over for a week…but it can’t be done in a few days.»

Ms Atkinson said it would take time for an evidence brief to be served, adding that any visa issues faced by the football player would be handled.

Mr Simic will next appear before the Downing Centre Local Court on April 9.

A representative from the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia also attended court.

A spokesman for the consulate said the matter was a personal issue for Mr Simic and that the representative was only present because the Croatian was playing for Persija Jakarta.

Mr Simic left the Downing Centre in a taxi with his lawyer shortly before 11.30am, still giving him time to travel up to Newcastle ahead of the 7pm kick-off.

It is unknown if he will take the field on Tuesday. Persija Jakarta has been contacted for comment.

Mr Simic is one of five foreign players for the Jakarta team. The winner of Tuesday night’s match at Hunter Stadium will progress to the play-off round to face reigning AFC Champions League champions, Kashima Antlers.

The Newcastle Jets have been contacted for comment.

Lucy Cormack is a crime reporter with The Sydney Morning Herald.

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Источник: Theage.com.au

Источник: Corruptioner.life

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