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Australian Court Overturns Djokovic’s Deportation Order, Reinstates His Visa
By Staff, Agencies
A federal district court in Melbourne overturned on Monday the Australian government's decision to revoke the visa of tennis star Novak Djokovic.
The famous tennis player will now be free to leave the Park Hotel in Carlton, where he has spent the last four nights, after the Australian authorities cancelled his visa, citing violations of the vaccination rules.
"A professor and qualified physician provided the applicant a medical exemption, the basis of which was given by an independent expert panel established by the state government... that document was in the hands of the delegate. The point I'm somewhat agitated about is, what more could this man have done?" Judge Anthony Kelly said as quoted by the Daily Mail.
However, lawyers for the federal government told the court that the country's immigration minister was retaining the right to exercise his personal power to once again cancel Djokovic's visa.
Djokovic, a prominent tennis player of Serbian origin, arrived in Australia last week to participate in the Australian Open, due to kick off on 17 January in Melbourne. However, he failed to pass passport control due to his lack of an appropriate visa – suitable for those with a medical exemption from vaccination against COVID-19. Djokovic was sent to an immigration detention center in a Melbourne hotel, pending deportation.
Djokovic, who is believed to be unvaccinated, argued he did not need proof of vaccination because he had evidence that he had contracted the coronavirus last month. Australian medical authorities have ruled that a temporary exemption for the vaccination rule can be granted to those who have been infected with the virus within six months.
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