Home » Djokovic faces another night in Australia detention before court hearing

Djokovic faces another night in Australia detention before court hearing

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© Reuters. Serbian tennis participant Novak Djokovic practices on Rod Laver Enviornment forward of the 2022 Australian Open at Melbourne Park, in Melbourne, Australia, January 11, 2022. Kelly Defina/Pool by way of REUTERS

By Sonali Paul and Sudipto Ganguly

MELBOURNE (Reuters) -Novak Djokovic will spend Saturday evening in Australian immigration detention earlier than he seeks a courtroom ruling to cease his deportation, so the world’s tennis primary can chase a document twenty first main title on the Australian Open.

Courtroom paperwork launched after an preliminary listening to within the Federal Courtroom on Saturday confirmed Immigration Minister Alex Hawke determined to cancel the Serbian famous person’s visa as a result of his presence might foster opposition to COVID-19 vaccination within the nation.

Will probably be a second stint in detention for Djokovic, who spent his first 4 nights in Australia in lodge detention earlier than a choose freed https://www.reuters.com/life-style/sports activities/novak-djokovics-bid-stay-australia-goes-before-courts-2022-01-09 him on Monday after discovering a choice to cancel his visa on arrival had been unreasonable.

“Though I … settle for that Mr Djokovic poses a negligible particular person threat of transmitting COVID-19 to different individuals, I nonetheless take into account that his presence could also be a threat to the well being of the Australian group,” Hawke mentioned in a letter to Djokovic and his authorized staff.

This rationalization in Djokovic’s affidavit is extra detailed than the temporary assertion Hawke launched on Friday, which mentioned his determination was based mostly on “well being and good order grounds”.

Justice David O’Callaghan set a listening to on Djokovic’s attraction for 9:30 a.m. Sunday (2230 GMT Saturday), with the query of whether or not it might be held earlier than a single choose or a full courtroom nonetheless to be decided.

Djokovic’s legal professionals mentioned on Friday they’d argue deportation would solely additional fan anti-vaccine sentiment and can be as a lot a risk to dysfunction and public well being as letting him keep and exempting him from Australia’s requirement that each one guests be vaccinated.

A courtroom order on Friday evening had required the 34-year-old to give up to immigration officers for an interview on Saturday morning, earlier than he can be taken to his legal professionals’ officers for the preliminary listening to. After leaving his legal professionals, he’s to be taken into immigration detention.

Border Power and the immigration minister’s workplace didn’t instantly reply to requests for touch upon whether or not Djokovic had attended the interview.

The federal government has mentioned it might not deport Djokovic till his attraction has been heard. Djokovic desires to have the opportunity defend his title on the Australian Open, which begins on Monday.


The controversy has overshadowed the normal build-up to the Grand Slam occasion, and gamers have been tiring of the saga.

“It feels prefer it’s taking away from us rivals who simply need to begin. We’re simply desirous to exit and compete,” Australian primary Alex de Minaur advised reporters at Melbourne Park, the place the match is held.

Djokovic’s medical exemption from vaccine necessities to play the Open prompted huge anger in Australia, which has undergone some the world’s hardest COVID-19 lockdowns and the place greater than 90% of adults are vaccinated, however hospitalisation charges proceed to hit document highs.

With international scientists and policymakers targeted on vaccinating as many individuals as potential to finish the pandemic, the refusal of Djokovic to get the jab has fuelled the anti-vaccination motion, particularly in his native Serbia https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/djokovics-australian-visa-row-fuels-vaccination-debate-serbia-2022-01-12 and surrounding international locations.

The controversy over the tennis participant has turn into a political touchstone for Prime Minister Scott Morrison as he prepares for an election due by Might.

His authorities has received help at dwelling for its robust stance on border safety through the pandemic, but it surely has confronted criticism for its dealing with of Djokovic’s visa utility.

Djokovic, scheduled to play fellow Serb Miomir Kecmanovi within the first spherical of the Open, is looking a record-breaking twenty first Grand Slam title. However as an alternative of hitting Rod Laver Enviornment on Monday, he could possibly be deported on a flight out of Melbourne.

He has the choice of withdrawing and leaving Australia of his personal accord. If he withdrew previous to the primary day of play, Andrey Rublev would take his spot https://www.reuters.com/life-style/sports activities/australian-open-draw-shaken-up-with-djokovic-visa-cancellation-2022-01-14 within the first spherical.

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