A judge on Monday ordered the immediate release of Novak Djokovic, who won a legal battle between World No. 1 to enter Australia without being vaccinated against Kovid-19, last week.
However, the public prosecutor warned that Canberra could still order Djokovic’s deportation, barring him from entering Australia for three years. The legal stalemate began five days ago with the cancellation of a Serbian player’s visa after he arrived in Australia to play his first Grand Slam this year.
The online trial of the Novak Djokovic case began on Monday, with world number one tennis player playing his chances at the Australian Open in December by convincing local court that he had a Kovid and that would be enough to exempt him from the mandatory vaccination.
He is due to appear for trial at the Melbourne Alien Detention Center, where he has been being held since Thursday.
The process was delayed for a while on Monday due to a computer problem with too many connections to attend the live broadcast.
“I am just happy to be free. The court is trying to rectify the situation. Our apologies, “said Bruce Phillips, a federal court spokesman.
The judge continued the trial without a live broadcast and a team of athlete lawyers presented their arguments.
No one but staff was allowed in the facility, which was once a hotel, where 32 immigrants, trapped in Australia’s immigration system, have been for years. In the past, reception conditions in this building have been criticized.
Some protesters gathered outside on Sunday morning. Supporters, anti-vaccination protesters and activists for the rights of immigrants had already gathered there the day before in a festive atmosphere.
Djokovic’s mother, Dizana, told a rally in Belgrade that her son was being held in “inhumane conditions.”
“They don’t even give him breakfast, he only allows one lunch and one dinner and he has no ordinary window, he’s looking at the wall,” she told regional TV N1.
Former World No. 1 In the case of Andy Murray, he hopes to be well-received by the man who has long competed for the top spot in world tennis. “I hope he’s well,” Britain told the Australian media.
“It’s not really good for tennis and it’s not good for anyone involved (in this business),” Murray added.
For Djokovic, time is running out with the eight-day Australian Open (January 17-30), where he aims to buy the 21st Grand Slam tournament, which will put him at the top of tennis history ahead of his two historical rivals. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Serbian Prime Minister Ana Branabic said over the weekend that she fully supports the Serbian champion and that she has held “constructive talks” with the Australian Foreign Minister.
“We made sure he received gluten-free food, sports equipment, a laptop,” she told Serbian television Pink.
On Saturday, the world’s No. 1 attorney said in a document filed in federal court that he tested positive for Kovid-19 on December 16, 2021.
Djokovic, however, attended two public events in Belgrade without a mask, the same day and the day after the test, according to various social media posts.
The Australian Tennis Federation granted him an exemption from participating in the first Grand Slam of the season in December due to the infection, after his request was approved by two independent medical panels, his lawyers insisted.
But when he arrived in Australia, from Wednesday to Thursday night, federal officials denied him entry, and his reasons for the exemption did not meet the conditions for entry into the territory.
The Australian government considers recent infections to be the only exception, not foreign nationals trying to enter the country.
Djokovic reiterated to Australian lawyers in their concluding remarks on Sunday that they were “not vaccinated”. “This visa application should be rejected,” they pleaded.
Foreigners are still barred from traveling to Australia and those allowed to enter must be fully vaccinated or have medical exemption.
Djokovic was detained after seeing her visa revoked, with Czech player Renata Vorakova, doubles specialist, leaving Australia on Saturday.
The Australian Federation and its boss Craig Tyley have been accused of misleading players about their obligations to enter the country.
The state of Victoria, the capital of Melbourne, recorded 44,155 new cases on Sunday, despite tightening health restrictions for the most part in Australia to fight the new wave associated with the Omicron variant.