The Age
Kosovars' last plea to courts

Kosovars win reprieve from being sent home


Friday 7 April 2000

A group of 81 Kosovars won a weekend reprieve from being sent back to their war-torn homeland today after the federal government gave undertakings in the High Court not to force them home.

But another 178 may still be forced to leave Australia this weekend because they were not included in today's court action.

The total 259 Kosovars were yesterday denied special protection visas by Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock.

The 81 Kosovars launched a last minute bid in the High Court to stop the government from sending them back to Kosovo today.

The Kosovars are in Australia on temporary safe haven visas, granted during the war in the Balkans.

The temporary safe haven visas are due to run out at midnight tomorrow.

Richard Tracey, QC, representing Mr Ruddock, said the government would not force the group to fly back to Kosovo while the court was deciding their application for an injunction.

Chief Justice Murray Gleeson said he would take the weekend to consider the matter and return with a decision on Monday.

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