Courtroom paperwork confirmed the 34-year-old Serbian was at present being detained at an tackle in Melbourne, as his enchantment towards deportation is heard.
Simply two days earlier than the Australian Open begins, the world primary is once more centered on regulation courts fairly than centre courtroom within the newest twist in a high-profile row over his Covid-19 vaccine standing.
Immigration minister Alex Hawke now claims Djokovic’s continued presence within the nation might “foster anti-vaccination sentiment” and even spark an “increase in civil unrest”.
Djokovic was summoned to look earlier than immigration officers in Melbourne forward of emergency Federal Courtroom hearings on Saturday and Sunday.
He was allowed to observe courtroom proceedings from an tackle — believed to be his legal professionals’ places of work — beneath guard of two Australian Border Drive officers.
That is the second try by Australia’s conservative authorities to deport Djokovic, one of many world’s most high-profile Covid-19 vaccine sceptics.
The 34-year-old Serbian used a medical exemption to enter Australia earlier this month, hoping to problem for a report twenty first Grand Slam title on the Open.
Amid public outcry, Prime Minister Scott Morrison‘s authorities revoked Djokovic’s visa on arrival.
Many Australians — who’ve suffered extended lockdowns and border restrictions — imagine Djokovic gamed the system to dodge vaccine entry necessities.
However the authorities was humiliated when a choose reinstated Djokovic’s visa and allowed him to stay within the nation.
This time, the federal government has invoked distinctive — and troublesome to problem — govt powers to declare him a menace to public well being and security.
The federal government argues that Djokovic’s presence is a menace to public well being and order, notably as Australia suffers a tidal wave of Omicron infections.
His continued presence within the nation “may pose a health risk to the Australian community” by solidifying anti-vaccine sentiment and discouraging folks from getting boosters, immigration minister Hawke argued, in line with a courtroom submitting launched Saturday.
Djokovic’s legal professionals argue the federal government “cited no evidence” to help their claims.
The minister admitted that Djokovic is at “negligible” threat of infecting Australians, however argued his previous “disregard” for Covid-19 laws could pose a threat to public well being and encourage folks to disregard pandemic guidelines.
The tennis ace contracted Covid-19 in mid-December and, in line with his personal account, didn’t isolate regardless of figuring out he was constructive.
Public information present he attended a stamp unveiling, youth tennis occasion and granted a media interview across the time he obtained examined and his an infection was confirmed.
In an announcement, Hawke stated the federal government was “firmly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, particularly in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic”, citing “health and good order grounds” for the choice to cancel Djokovic’s visa as soon as once more.
The minister stated “it was in the public interest to do so”.
The federal government has agreed to not deport Djokovic till the listening to is over, barrister Stephen Lloyd informed an emergency late-night federal courtroom session Friday.
Djokovic is the Australian Open’s prime seed and a nine-time winner of the event. He had been practising simply hours earlier than Hawke’s resolution was introduced.
It’s unclear if Djokovic will select to remain and combat the case if he believes he’s unable to compete within the Australian Open.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on Friday accused Australia of “mistreating” the nation’s largest star, and a nationwide hero.
“If you wanted to ban Novak Djokovic from winning the 10th trophy in Melbourne why didn’t you return him immediately, why didn’t you tell him ‘it is impossible to obtain a visa’?” Vucic stated on Instagram.
“Novak, we stand by you!”
Prime Minister Morrison backed the choice, saying: “Australians have made many sacrifices during this pandemic, and they rightly expect the result of those sacrifices to be protected.”
The visa cancellation successfully means Djokovic could be barred from acquiring a brand new Australian visa for 3 years, besides beneath distinctive circumstances, ruling him out of one of many 4 Grand Slam tournaments throughout that point.
He’s at present tied with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal with 20 Grand Slam titles every.
Former world primary Andy Murray, who will play on the Open, stated Friday he hoped Djokovic’s standing could be cleared up.
“It just seems like it’s dragged on for quite a long time now and (it’s) not great for the tennis, not great for the Australian Open, not great for Novak,” Murray stated.
Different gamers, together with world quantity 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas, have criticised Djokovic.
“For sure he has been playing by his own rules,” Tsitsipas informed Indian broadcaster WION on Thursday.