Australian judge Anthony Kelly overturned the government’s decision not to grant entry visa to Novak Djokovic in Australia. Therefore, the number 1 of World tennis will be able to defend his title at the Australian Open, starting on Monday 17 January in Melbourne.
The federal court of Melbourne, shortly before, had granted tennis player Novak Djokovic, according to the Australian media, permission to leave Park Hotel, the hotel used as an immigration center where he was confined, in order to follow the hearing on his appeal again adjourned. Djokovic and his supporters have complained about the housing conditions similar to a “confinement” in the structure, already at the center of controversy and riots months ago. It was not disclosed what the new, temporary home he was moved to is. Meanwhile, the judge of the Melbourne court, Anthony Kelly, considering the extension of the hearing, has extended the term that suspends Djokovic’s repatriation.
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The judges therefore ruled that the tennis star could be released from detention in the immigration center, finding the government’s decision to revoke the Serbian champion’s visa to enter the country “unreasonable”. Judge Anthony Kelly ordered Djokovic’s release within 30 minutes and his passport and other travel documents were returned to him, rekindling the chances of the world number one to win the 21st Grand Slam title at the upcoming Australian Open. However, federal government lawyers told the court that the country’s immigration minister reserves the right to revoke Djokovic’s visa again.
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Djokovic, 34, has been held in an immigrant detention hotel alongside long-term asylum-seeking detainees since Thursday. He was allowed to approach his lawyers for virtual hearings, but hasn’t been seen in public since arriving in Australia. His lawyers argued that a recent COVID-19 infection had allowed Djokovic to obtain the medical exemption from the vaccination requirement, which is necessary to enter Australia. The Australian government, however, questioned the alleged exemption from the tennis player and his staff, pointing out that this could also happen if Djokovic wins his court action, reserving the right to detain him again and kick him out of the country. In short, the question is not yet over.