Djokovic readies vaccine exemption case for Australian visa showdown

Djokovic readies vaccine exemption case for Australian visa showdown
Novak Djokovic is in a legal fight to overturn his shock visa cancellation ahead of the Australian Open.
Novak Djokovic is in a authorized battle to overturn his shock visa cancellation forward of the Australian Open.

MELBOURNE: Tennis world primary Novak Djokovic ready his authorized weapons Sunday for a battle to remain in Melbourne and defend his Australian Open title, arguing he has the all-clear due to a optimistic coronavirus take a look at in December.

Djokovic’s battle to overturn the shock cancellation of his visa and his ensuing detention in a infamous Melbourne immigration facility will culminate in a extremely publicised on-line listening to in federal courtroom on Monday.

The vaccine-sceptic Serbian star awaited the showdown holed up within the former Park Lodge, a five-storey facility that holds about 32 migrants trapped in Australia’s hardline immigration system — some for years.

No person is allowed in or out besides employees.

A handful of protesters gathered Sunday morning on the road outdoors, the place lots of of followers, anti-vaccination demonstrators and migrant rights activists had rallied in get together temper the day before today.

With eight days to go earlier than the January 17 begin of the Australian Open, any delay might sprint the 34-year-old’s hopes of profitable his tenth crown in Melbourne, and a document twenty first Grand Slam title.

In an order launched to the general public Sunday, Decide Anthony Kelly stated the case will go forward as scheduled at 10am Monday (6am Thailand time), refusing a authorities request to adjourn till Wednesday.

Djokovic’s legal professionals submitted a 35-page doc Saturday arguing his visa was wrongly cancelled and ought to be reinstated, permitting him free to compete.

The crew has argued that Djokovic’s optimistic PCR take a look at on December 16, 2021 means he meets the factors for a vaccine exemption below the steerage of Australia’s personal immunisation advisory physique.

Tennis Australia cleared him for an exemption to play within the event, after his software was accredited by two unbiased medical panels, his legal professionals stated.


Australia’s authorities, nevertheless, insists a latest coronavirus an infection solely counts as an exemption for residents, not for overseas nationals making an attempt to enter the nation.

Foreigners are nonetheless principally banned from journey to Australia, and people granted entry should be absolutely vaccinated or have a medical exemption.

Regardless of Djokovic’s declare of a optimistic take a look at on December 16, photos shared by the Belgrade tennis federation confirmed Djokovic at a younger gamers’ occasion within the metropolis on December 17.

It reported that he had handed over cups and prizes to the perfect younger gamers. Nobody was carrying a masks.

Djokovic had additionally attended one other gathering on December 16, when the Serbian nationwide postal service launched a collection of stamps in his honour.

“Thanks to my beneficiant nation for this uncommon reward! I am humbled!!,” he stated on Instagram on the time.

The tennis ace’s legal professionals argue that he confronted an “unfair process”, claiming Australian border brokers held him for eight hours at Melbourne airport, principally “incommunicado”.

Djokovic had requested for time to relaxation and seek the advice of his legal professionals however border brokers efficiently pressured him to permit them to take an instantaneous determination and cancel his visa, they stated.

Since being moved into the Park Lodge detention centre, his pleas to be moved to a different facility the place he can prepare for the Australian Open have fallen on deaf ears, the legal professionals stated.

The centre holding him gained notoriety final 12 months when a hearth compelled migrants to be evacuated, and maggots had been allegedly discovered within the meals.

‘Gluten-free meals’

Prime Minister Ana Brnabic stated this weekend that Serbia was absolutely behind the participant and she or he had held “constructive talks” with Australian International Minister Marise Payne.

“We managed that he will get gluten-free meals, train tools, a laptop computer,” she advised Serbia’s Pink tv.

In an inside video leaked Saturday, Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley stated his organisation had executed “all the things they probably might”.

“There’s a lot… of blaming happening however I can guarantee you our crew has executed an unbelievable job,” he stated within the footage printed by the Sunday Herald Solar newspaper.

A second tennis participant who was headed to the Australian Open — Czech doubles specialist Renata Voracova — had her visa was cancelled after initially being allowed into the nation, her authorities has confirmed.

She flew out of Australia on Saturday night time, an Australian authorities supply stated, after being held in the identical Melbourne centre as Djokovic.

She described the expertise to Czech media as being “a bit like in jail”.

As a lot of Australia tightened restrictions to battle a wave of infections fuelled by the Omicron virus variant, the state of Victoria — of which Melbourne is the capital — reported 44,155 instances Sunday.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has defended revoking Djokovic’s visa, saying: “Guidelines are guidelines.”

The federal choose listening to Djokovic’s case warned his legal professionals in a listening to Thursday that justice would transfer at its personal tempo by means of all mandatory appeals.

“The tail will not be wagging the canine right here,” he stated.

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