Australian Border Force investigating whether Djokovic lied on immigration application
After hours of deliberation and technical glitches, an Australian judge on Monday overruled the government’s decision to cancel Novak Djokovic’s visa. and ordered him to be released.
It is not yet clear if Djokovic will compete in the Australian Open, which begins on January 17, as the Australian Immigration Minister still has the power to cancel his visa. However, the Serb tennis star has returned to training and has made it clear that he intends to compete.
Here’s a recap of Monday’s events:
What happened then: Monday hearing to determine whether Djokovic can stay in Australia. He arrived on January 5, only to have his visa canceled and face remand because he does not have a valid medical exemption for the Covid-19 vaccination requirement for all arrivals.
Why: Djokovic was under the impression that he was able to enter the country because he had been granted a medical exemption by the tournament organizers, which was granted on the grounds that he had natural immunity after being infected with Covid-19 in December, his defense argued.
The government’s legal defense argued that the tennis star did not provide evidence why he could not be vaccinated against Covid-19, adding that a previous Covid infection did not equate to a valid medical reason for his inability to inject.
What the judge said: Justice Anthony Kelly appeared to acknowledge Djokovic’s position, saying he was “triggered” by the burden placed on the tennis star’s shoulders. But the final decision to reinstate his visa was because Djokovic was not given adequate notice by the government about his visa cancellation, or had enough time to prepare documents.
Further controversy: It emerged from Djokovic’s oath that he knew he tested positive for Covid-19 on the same day he was photographed at three events where none of the other participants were covered. . The next day, he was also photographed at a youth awards event.
Outside of tennis: Djokovic’s situation is much deeper than a visa denial. His dispute coincides with a dramatic increase in Covid-19 cases in Australia, which is approaching a pandemic total. For many Australians, memories of the painful border closures and other Covid restrictions remain fresh.
It also highlighted plight of asylum seekers in Australia – with dozens of refugees held in the same detention hotel that Djokovic stayed at, who have been locked up for years, and who face indefinite detention under the rules harsh immigration of the country.