Despite winning a legal battle to stay in Australia to compete in the Australian Open despite being unvaccinated against COVID-19, the government has threatened to suspend Novak Djokovic’s visa for the second time.
Judge Anthony Kelly has quashed the visa cancellation, and ordered the Australian Government to pay legal costs and release Djokovic from detention within half an hour as he delivered his verdict at 6.16am GMT.
Government counsel Christopher Tran notified the court that the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs – not the minister who made the original visa cancellation – will now consider whether to exercise a personal power of cancellation of Djokovic’s visa.
Shortly after the verdict, a transcript of Djokovic’s interview with Border Force last week was released in which the world number one stated: “I am not vaccinated.”
The Australian Open starts on Monday, January 17, with the draw taking place on Thursday, January 13.
Earlier in the day, Djokovic was removed from detention to be with his lawyers during the hearing, and Judge Kelly expressed agitation over the rejection of Djokovic’s medical exemption.
Djokovic’s lawyers presented their arguments to the court, but government lawyer Mr Tran only spoke for half an hour before a lengthy adjournment.