Novak Djokovic again in custody before hearing in Melbourne

The Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic was arrested in Australia on Sunday before the decisive hearing about the validity of his visa and thus his participation in the Australian Open in Melbourne. This was reported by several Australian media on Saturday and published corresponding photos and videos of the arrival of the world number one at the converted hotel.

Previously, after the immigration ministry canceled Djokovic’s visa again the day before, the court hearing about the subsequent appeal by the 34-year-old’s lawyers before the federal court was scheduled for Sunday. At the same time, however, its provisional determination was also decided.

As expected, the legal counsel for the nine-time Australian Open winner questioned the legality of the government decision by the responsible Minister Alex Hawke in the hearing on Saturday. In a personal decision, which is fundamentally permitted by the Australian constitution, Hawke had withdrawn the residence permit for Djokovic, who said he had tested positive for the corona virus in mid-December, and presented the unvaccinated world star as a danger to public health and even to public order.

Djokovic is “a person of influence and status,” said Hawke’s reasoning published by The Age newspaper: “In view of his behavior after receiving a positive corona test, his publicly expressed views and his status as an unvaccinated person, I believe that his Presence in Australia may cause other people to disregard public health guidelines.”

Time is running out for Djokovic

Djokovic’s presence could also “strengthen anti-vaccination sentiment in the population” and thus “possibly cause an increase in civil unrest that has already been experienced with rallies and protests”. It is about “preserving the life and health of many members of society”.

Time is of the essence for Djokovic. Already on Monday, the traditional opening singles of the first round against his compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic would be on the program for the previous year’s winner in case of another success in court against the Australian government. Otherwise Djokovic is likely to be on his way back at the beginning of the first Grand Slam tournament of the season.


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