Court documents reveal exactly why Immigration Minister Alex Hawke decided to cancel Novak Djokovic’s visa.
Novak Djokovic sought and obtained an urgent injunction to prevent the government from deporting him after Immigration Minister Alex Hook’s decision on Friday to revoke his visa.
During a hastily scheduled late-night hearing in the Federal Circuit Court on Friday, Judge Anthony Kelly ordered the federal government not to take any steps to remove Djokovic from Australia before the tennis star’s appeal was resolved.
Djokovic attended an interview with federal officials at 8 am this morning before Australian border authorities arrested him.
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Judge Kelly said the case would be referred to the Australian Federal Court, which was confirmed at Judge David O’Callaghan’s procedural hearing on Saturday morning.
The final hearing will begin at 9:30am EST tomorrow – less than 24 hours before the Australian Open kicks off.
Court documents reveal the reason for canceling the visa
Australian border authorities have detained world number one Novak Djokovic after his visa was revoked for the second time.
The 34-year-old is expected to spend Saturday night in a pre-immigration detention center.
According to court documents, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has decided to cancel Novak Djokovic’s visa because the tennis star’s presence in Australia increases anti-extremism sentiment and ignores Covid-19 rules.
“Mr Djokovic’s presence in Australia may pose a health risk to the Australian community, as his presence in Australia may reinforce anti-vaccination sentiment resulting in unvaccinated persons refusing to be vaccinated, and other unvaccinated persons being promoted in their current view of vaccination, and/or decreased on uptake of booster vaccines,” Mr. Hawke wrote.
“There is evidence to suggest that Mr Djokovic has, in the past, demonstrated a clear disregard for the need for isolation after receiving a positive Covid-19 test result.
“Given Mr Djokovic’s high profile and status as a role model in the sporting community and more broadly, his continued presence in Australia may promote a similar disregard for precautionary requirements after receiving a positive COVID-19 test in Australia. In particular, his behavior may encourage or influence others. To emulate their previous behavior and failure to comply with appropriate public health measures following a positive COVID-19 test result, which in itself may lead to transmission of disease and a serious risk to their health and others.”
Djokovic admitted this week that he went out in public and attended a media interview with the French newspaper the team After testing positive for Covid in Serbia. Hooke cites this behavior to support his argument.
The argument that Border Force officials used to revoke Djokovic’s visa the first time has been abandoned – that his recent Covid-19 infection in mid-December was not enough to exempt him from the requirement to vaccinate incoming travelers against Covid.
The procedural hearing ends
Judge David Ocalagan’s procedural hearing in Federal Court on Novak Djokovic’s visa revocation has concluded.
The hearing addressed confirmation of Judge Kelly’s order to transfer the case from the Federal Circuit Court to the Federal Supreme Court. He also confirmed the schedule for the two sides to submit their applications, and the logistics for Sunday’s final hearing, which will begin at 9:30 a.m. EDT tomorrow.
There was a brief dispute over whether the final hearing would be before the full court or Judge Ocalagan alone – Djokovic’s team wanted a panel of three judges, while the federal government called for just one.
The government’s argument was that holding the hearing before the full court would preclude any subsequent appeal of the court’s decision.
Judge O’Callaghan said both sides will be told whether or not they face a full trial later in the day.
Djokovic’s doctor criticizes Australia
Widely credited with helping Novak Djokovic reach the top of tennis, the doctor has criticized Australia for twice revoking the Serbian star’s visa and detention over technical Covid measures, saying he is “in good health”.
“It is absurd that someone in perfect health is a threat to the health of the public,” said Dr. Igor Sitojevic, a Bosnian-born Serb who lives in Cyprus. France Press agency.
Djokovic, a skeptic about a Covid-19 vaccine, is the top seed at the Australian Open and was training at Melbourne Park just hours before Immigration Minister Alex Hawke’s surprise decision was announced.
Sitojevic, who spent a year touring with Djokovic until 2011 when he won Wimbledon for the first time and became world number one, said the unfairly treated Serbian is being treated unfairly.
“How can a healthy man be such a threat to the Australian Open,” said the 60-year-old with a loud laugh.
“It’s all about politics, it starts with politics and nothing else.”
Djokovic ‘mistreated’ Australia
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has accused Australia of “mistreating” Novak Djokovic after authorities revoked his visa for the second time.
“Why do you abuse him, why do you treat not only him, but also his family and the whole nation,” Vucic wrote on social media.
“If you wanted to prevent Novak Djokovic from winning his 10th title in Melbourne, why didn’t you take him back right away, why didn’t you tell him it was impossible to get a visa?
“Novak, we stand by you!”
‘Not a good situation’: Murray finally settles down
Former world number one Andy Murray reached his first final since 2019 on Friday in a major boost to his confidence ahead of the Australian Open.
The three-time winner, who underwent hip surgery, racked up four consecutive wins for the first time since he was crowned champion in Antwerp nearly three years ago.
But the Scot was frustrated by a number of questions in his post-match press conference about rival Novak Djokovic and the government’s decision to revoke his visa.
Murray – who has addressed the Djokovic epic twice in press conferences this week – let his head tap his microphone and could barely speak through a series of deep sighs as he was asked again about the latest updates.
Murray said, “It’s not a good situation. I’m not going to sit here and start kicking Novak while he’s down. I said it days ago, it’s not a good situation for anyone. Too bad it ended up in this kind of situation.”
“I just want it to be clearly resolved, I think it would be good for everyone if that was the case. It looks like it has been put off for a very long time now,” Murray added.
“Not great for tennis, not great at the Australian Open, not great for Novak. And obviously a lot of people criticized the government here as well. So it wasn’t good.”
The Prime Minister supports Hook’s decision
Prime Minister Scott Morrison released a statement Friday evening: “I note the decision of the Minister of Immigration regarding Mr Novak Djokovic’s visa.
I understand that, after careful consideration, the Minister has taken action to revoke Mr. Djokovic’s visa, which has been held for reasons of health and order, on the grounds that it is in the public interest to do so.
This pandemic has been very difficult for every Australian, but we have stuck together and saved lives and livelihoods.
Together, we have achieved one of the lowest mortality rates, the strongest economies and the highest vaccination rates in the world.
Australians have made many sacrifices during this pandemic, and they rightly expect the result of those sacrifices to be protected.
This is what the Minister is doing in taking this action today.
“Our strong border protection policies have kept Australians safe, before Covid and now during the pandemic.
“Given the anticipated ongoing legal process, I will not provide any further comment.”
– With AFP and Andrew McMurtry
Originally Posted as Live: Court documents reveal real reason for Novak Djokovic’s canceled visa