Court paperwork confirmed the 34-year-old Serbian was at the moment being detained at an handle in Melbourne, as his enchantment in opposition to deportation is heard.
Just two days earlier than the Australian Open begins, the world primary is once more centered on regulation courts quite than centre court docket in the most recent twist in a high-profile row over his Covid-19 vaccine standing.
Immigration minister Alex Hawke now claims Djokovic’s continued presence in 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 Court hearings on Saturday and Sunday.
He was allowed to observe court docket proceedings from an handle — believed to be his legal professionals’ workplaces — below guard of two Australian Border Force officers.
This 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 document 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.
But the federal government was humiliated when a decide reinstated Djokovic’s visa and allowed him to stay in 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 authorities 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 in 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 court docket 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.
‘Health and good order’
The tennis ace contracted Covid-19 in mid-December and, in line with his personal account, didn’t isolate regardless of understanding he was optimistic.
Public data present he attended a stamp unveiling, youth tennis occasion and granted a media interview across the time he bought 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 authorities has agreed to not deport Djokovic till the listening to is over, barrister Stephen Lloyd informed an emergency late-night federal court docket session Friday.
Djokovic is the Australian Open’s high seed and a nine-time winner of the match. He had been practising simply hours earlier than Hawke’s resolution was introduced.
It is unclear if Djokovic will select to remain and struggle the case if he believes he’s unable to compete in 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!”
‘In the general public curiosity’
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 can be barred from acquiring a brand new Australian visa for 3 years, besides below distinctive circumstances, ruling him out of one of many 4 Grand Slam tournaments throughout that point.
He is at the moment 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 can 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.
Other 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.