Djokovic, expulsion from Australia suspended: Serbian tennis player in custody until final hearing

Novak Djokovic will not be expelled from Australia until the court proceedings are concluded. The case will go to the Australian Federal Court. This is what was announced by the judge of the Federal Circuit and Family Court during the urgent hearing called today January 14th. The tennis player will be placed in detention from tomorrow, January 15, after the interview, scheduled at 8:00 am, with immigration officials – an occasion in which he will be supervised by border forces officers. There is a risk that he will be detained. Today’s session took place after the Australian government canceled Novak Djokovic’s residence permit. As the Sydney Morning Herald, the Minister of Immigration Alex Hawke posted one statement to announce the cancellation, calling into question the public interest. The tennis player’s lawyers have acted against the minister’s decision, in an attempt to allow Djokovic to stay in the country and play in the Australian Open, which kicks off on Monday 17 January.

The text of the statement

«Today I exercised my power under Section 133C of the Immigration Act to cancel the visa held by Mr. Novak Djokovic for reasons of health and public order, on the basis that this was in the public interest. This decision followed Federal Circuit and court orders of January 10, 2022, thereby superseding a previous annulment decision on procedural fairness grounds. In making this decision, I have carefully considered the information provided to me by the Department of Home Affairs, the Australian Border Force and Mr. Djokovic. The Morrison government is firmly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, particularly in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic. I thank the officers of the Department of Internal Affairs and the Australian Border Force who work every day to serve the interests of Australia in increasingly difficult operational environments ”.

The premier Scott Morrison instead he explained that the decision was made to “protect the sacrifices of the population” during the emergency. “This pandemic has been incredibly difficult for every Australian but we have stood together and saved lives and the economy. Australians have made many sacrifices and rightly expect the result of these sacrifices to be protected and this is what the minister is doing with his initiative “, said the premier, explaining that he will no longer intervene on the issue to respect” the foreseeable legal process. “.

Australia’s decision

The champion will now have to leave the country and will therefore not be able to participate in the Australian Open tennis, but still has the possibility to appeal against the decision. Which in any case will yield him three years of exclusion from the country, according to theAfp. The victory in court of the Serbian tennis player was not enough, to whom the visa with exemption from the anti Covid vaccination obligation in force in Australia for all arrivals was restored on 10 January. After Djokovic returned free, following a forced stay at the Park Hotel in Melbourne, the Australian government awaited the outcome of the investigation carried out by the Australian Border Force on the contradictory statements reported in the travel documents of the number one tennis player in the ranking. world.

The travel declaration investigation

Djokovic said he had not traveled in the two weeks prior to arriving in Australia on January 4th. But several articles and posts on social media had immortalized him while he was engaged in training and public performances. The Serbian had claimed to have negativized himself from Covid on 22 December, after he would have tested positive on 16 December. Yet on the 17th, as demonstrated by Open, had attended an award ceremony with a group of children in Belgrade. Not only. On 18 December he had met with journalists from theTeam for an interview, also in the Serbian capital. In the following days Djokovic had gone to Spain and then left for Australia on a flight via Dubai. In an Instagram post on January 12, Djokovic admitted that the travel declaration issued to border authorities upon his arrival in Australia contained incorrect information, and spoke of “human and involuntary error” by a member of his. staff. Other doubts have emerged from journalistic inquiries regarding the certificate of positivity of 16 December. Second Der Spiegel, the results may have been manipulated.

Cover image: EPA / KELLY DEFINA

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