Persija Jakarta striker Marko Simic is set to miss the Indonesia champion club’s matches at least until April 9 after being held in Australia for an alleged act of indecency against a woman on a flight from Bali.
The 31-year-old Croatian was arrested by the Australian Federal Police upon his arrival at Sydney Airport on Sunday after an alleged act of indecency without consent against a female passenger on the flight, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Persija are to play A-League club Newcastle Jets FC in the AFC Champions League 2019 preliminary round two clash at the Newcastle International Sports Centre on Tuesday. They had defeated Home Untied 3-1 to reach the second round with Simic scoring one of those goals against the Singapore club.
However, the Indonesia Liga 1 champions have been dealt with a huge blow as the striker has been forced to stay back in Australia until the legal proceedings are over.
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The Sydney Morning Herald reported that “a female passenger on the flight made a complaint to cabin crew that she had allegedly experienced unwanted touching by Simic. 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.”
Simic was arrested and 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, he appeared at the Downing Centre Local Court.
Simic’s lawyer requested the court to speed up the proceedings, however Magistrate Jennifer Atkinson said she had to manage the criminal charges “like any other matter”. “I can put it over for a week…but it can’t be done in a few days.”
The Magistrate added it would take time for an evidence brief to be served and ordered Simic to appear before the Downing Centre Local Court on April 9.
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Simic did train with Persija on the eve of the game and will play the game against Newcastle, but will be forced to stay in Australia until his next court appearance on April 9 after he was ordered to surrender his passport to the court, according to FTBL.com.au.
This means that Simic could miss Perisja’s AFC Champions League 2019 play off match against J.League giants Kashima Antlers if the Indonesians taste victory against Newcastle on Tuesday