Members of the Serbian community demonstrate in favor of tennis player Novak Djokovic in Melbourne, Australia. EFE / JAMES ROSS
Sydney (Australia), Jan 11 (EFE) .- Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke remarked on Tuesday that he is still considering “thoroughly” whether to cancel the visa of Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic again, after the athlete won the the day before a legal battle to be able to enter the country without being vaccinated against covid-19.
Djokovic yesterday obtained permission from an Australian court to stay in Australia after appealing the revocation of his visa, although the Australian Government continues to have the power to expel him from the country.
In a brief statement from Hawke’s office, he stressed that the minister “is considering whether to cancel Djokovic’s visa” by using section 133C (3) of the Australian Immigration Law.
“In line with due process, Minister Hawke will thoroughly consider the matter. As the problem is ongoing, for legal reasons it is inappropriate to make further comments,” said the government department, reported the public channel ABC.
The statement coincides with the authorities’ investigation into a possible lie by Djokovic in an entry document to Australia where he assured that he had not visited any third country in the previous two weeks, which could lead to his visa being canceled again.
A federal government source confirmed today to The Sydney Morning Herald that the travel declaration where the athlete checked the box “no” in the question of whether he had made any trips during the 14 days prior to arrival in the country is being examined.
The tennis player, who according to his medical documents provided was infected with covid-19 on December 16, spent Christmas in Belgrade according to photos published on social networks, before moving to Spain, from where he boarded a plane on December 4. January with transit in Dubai and final destination Melbourne.
A false statement is considered a “serious offense” under Australian law and can carry a maximum penalty of up to twelve months in jail.
Upon his arrival in Australia last Wednesday night, the immigration authorities detained the 34-year-old tennis player, canceled his visa and sent him to a hotel where he remained isolated until Monday, considering insufficient evidence to obtain a medical exemption from vaccination.
The tennis player’s lawyers appealed the decision to a Melbourne court that agreed with the Serbian athlete, who yesterday was able to train freely to prepare for the Australian Open, which takes place between January 17 and 30.