He said the case was unusual in that public announcements from former foreign minister Marise Payne explaining her decision would be included in the case.
In April, Payne announced that the government had decided to impose “targeted financial sanctions and travel bans” on 67 people “for their role in Russia’s unprovoked, unjust and illegal invasion of Ukraine”.
“The Australian government is committed to imposing the highest costs on those who bear responsibility for Russia’s aggression in Ukraine or hold the levers of power,” she said.
Merkel told the court that even if Payne’s successor as minister, Penny Wong, revoked the sanctions list or revoked the order against the billionaire, he would still take legal action.
“We don’t know what will happen in the future. Whatever happens, it will not negate these cases,” Merkel told Judge Susan Kenny during an administrative hearing.
“Our ultimate goal is to remove the imposed sanction … our real point is that the approach taken by the minister is misguided,” Merkel said.
It is not known whether Abramov has previously dealt with the Australian government or companies. The sanctions prevent him from traveling to Australia and doing business here.
His lawyers did not respond to a request for comment. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade also declined to comment.
Barrister Brendan Lim, acting for the Australian government, told the court he could not say whether the minister would make a new order on the sanctions.
The case will go to court this month.
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