Immigration investigates whether Djokovic lied in his declaration of entry to Australia | sports


Alex Hawke, the Australian Immigration Minister, remarked on Tuesday that he is still considering “thoroughly” whether to exercise the authority granted by his position to cancel the visa of Novak Djokovic, who this Monday was released by Judge Anthony Kelly from the arrest that he had been keeping since last Thursday. The magistrate invalidated the order to cancel Djokovic’s visa, considering that he did not have enough time to prove the validity of the medical exemption that, on paper, allowed him to enter the country without undergoing the 14 days of quarantine that he was granted. would correspond for not being vaccinated against covid-19.

Djokovic's travel statement on the papers to enter Australia.
Djokovic’s travel statement on the papers to enter Australia.

At the precise moment when the news broke, most of the social pressure that fell on the Serbian tennis player was redirected to the top of the Australian Government, led by Scott Morrison. As much as Hawke has the power to stop the number one again, the wound is more open than ever in Morrison’s executive, a circumstance that leads to think that in no case would he go after the player, unless he had Of course, no one can stop his deportation and that this would be final, without the possibility of appeal as on the previous occasion.

While Djokovic is already training at the Rod Laver Arena to prepare for the tournament that begins on Monday the 17th, the Immigration Department does not cease in its efforts to expel him from the country. The strategy adopted in the last hours involves trying to show that Nole he lied in his declaration of entry to Australia. Specifically in the section relating to trips prior to disembarking at Tullamarine airport, in Melbourne, last Wednesday on a flight from Dubai. Djokovic answered “no” to the question “Have you traveled in the 14 days prior to your flight to Australia?”. Djokovic arrived on January 6 (Australian time), so the question is whether he made any trips after December 23, from the city in which he was then. The Serbian tennis player answered “no” on the form. However, on December 25 he participated in a tennis exhibition in the streets of Belgrade, and was photographed with handball player Petar Djordjic. And at the end of the year he moved to Spain and was training in Marbella, specifically at the Puente Romano club facilities, where he appears with some children playing ball and signing autographs on December 31. That is, he did travel in the 14 days prior to his arrival in Melbourne.

According to the transcript of the conversation between the athlete and the policemen who detained him in Tullamarine, he let them know that his travel statement was completed by someone from the Australian Tennis Federation, which created a panel of experts to process and simplify the processing of the applications of the nearly 3,500 foreign people who will participate in some way in the Open, but which did not finish giving the expected result. In his statement, in addition, Djokovic incurs several contradictions by not making it clear who authorized his entry into the country with a medical exemption because he was not vaccinated and without complying with the quarantine, whether it was Tennis Australia, the State of Victoria or the central Government. This is how it is recorded in the dialogue with the border agent who interrogates him:

– As far as we know, you say that you do not know if your medical exemption was evaluated by the Government, so that is what I want to consult with you.

– Yes, I just checked with my agent and she has provided me with the same document that I have here and it says that this certificate is a medical exemption from the covid vaccine and that it has been provided by a panel of independent experts commissioned by Tennis Australia. It also says that the panel’s decision has been reviewed and endorsed by an independent Victorian State Government medical exemption review panel.

– OK and then…

– And after that review I received the one from the Department of Internal Affairs of the Federal Government.

– Yes, then from the Australian.

– The travel declaration.

– Australia’s travel declaration, then. He previously said that the Government had done it.

– Well, I probably made a mistake, it was not the Federal Government, it was the Victorian Government that selected the independent medical panel that has reviewed the application together with the Australian Open.

In addition, according to his medical exemption, the one from Belgrade tested positive for covid-19 on December 16, after undergoing a PCR test whose result was known at 8:00 p.m. that same day. Despite this, the next day he attended an event with young tennis players. In the photos he appears without a mask.

Call to Serbian Prime Minister

Morrison spoke on Tuesday morning of the whole matter with Serbian Prime Minister Anna Brnabić in a conversation that the government office defined as a “constructive call.” According to the official statement, premier He wanted to make it clear to his counterpart that Australian border policies are in no way discriminatory, and that the entire device that was activated was intended to protect the country in times of pandemic.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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