AustraliaThe Federal Supreme Court of Australia has decided that the January 16 trial on Novak Djokovic’s visa will have three judges, instead of one.
At 6:55 pm on January 15, Melbourne time, Judge David O’Callaghan said Djokovic’s hearing will be attended by him, Judge Anthony Besanko and Chief Justice James Allsop. Judge O’Callaghan had previously presided over a hearing on the morning of January 15, in which the parties argued whether the case should be heard by one or three Judges. Djokovic’s lawyer wants three judges, while the Australian government believes that only one is needed.
According to Australian media, when the trial has three judges, the minister cannot appeal the final decision of the court. If he wins this hearing, Djokovic will be able to play at the Australian Open. But, newspaper The Age stressed that the Minister’s decision to use his personal power is rarely overturned in court. Immigration Minister Alex Hawke revoked Djokovic’s visa for the second time on the afternoon of January 14, citing the Serbian tennis player’s presence at the Australian Open “threatening the safety and order of the community”.
Mr. Hawke gave evidence that is considered certain, when he emphasized that the owner of 9 Australian Open titles still attends community activities in Serbia despite being infected with Covid-19. “Mr. Djokovic is a man who has a great influence on the majority. His disregard for the law can destabilize Australian society, where groups of people exist in the name of freedom to infringe on public health. “, The Age disclosed part of a document Hawke’s attorney submitted to the court. According to this newspaper, Minister Hawke has not used another “weapon”, which is evidence that Djokovic perjured when he entered Melbourne on January 5.
Djokovic was taken to the original detention place, the Park Hotel on the afternoon of January 15. He stayed here for one night, before attending the hearing at 9:30 on January 16, Melbourne time. The trial will be streamed online, with pre-presentations by Djokovic’s defense attorneys.
According to former Australian Open CEO Paul McNamee, Djokovic was the victim of a “witch hunt”. He wrote in the newspaper Sydney Morning Herald: “Novak Djokovic is an easy target for the Australian Government because he has not been vaccinated and is a public figure. People used to worry that Novak was getting special treatment because he was the number one tennis player. But the reality is the opposite. It’s only because of ‘mass influence’ that he faces deportation.”
According to the newspaper Sports Club of Serbia, Tennis Australia not only approved medical exemption for Djokovic and two other players, but also special entry for coach Filip Serdarusic – Croatian coach and brother of tennis player Nino Serdarusic. Serdarusic said he boarded a flight chartered by Tennis Australia, and entered the country with the reason of having Covid-19 in October 2021.
“The Australian Border Force officer looked at the file and said I could be quarantined for 14 days because I hadn’t been vaccinated,” Serdarusic said. “But then she called the boss. The boss came over to see the documents, took pictures of them and said I could enter the country without quarantine. Half a month later Djokovic came and they called me at 10 pm to let me know. I returned the medical waiver. I decided to pack up and leave Australia because I’m not as good at fighting as Djokovic.”
Nhan Dat (follow News AU)