Judge Anthony Kelly has been considering the case of the Serbian top tennis player since 10 a.m. (local time) this morning. First, Djokovic’s lawyers spoke, this afternoon the government lawyers will be given the opportunity to speak.
Possible verdict this morning
If the decision to deny Djokovic his visa stands in court, the tennis player may still have to leave tonight (local time). It is unclear when the judge will make a decision, but it may be in the course of the Dutch morning.
Novak Djokovic made world headlines last week when Australian customs officials in Melbourne decided to refuse the Serb’s visa. He had traveled to the city to participate in the Australian Open, a tennis tournament that starts on January 17.
The Djokovic case revolves around his medical exemption from the vaccination requirement in Australia. The number 1 in the world does not want to say whether he has been vaccinated against corona. He would have tested positive for the virus on December 16.
The confusion has arisen because Djokovic and the Australian Tennis Federation assumed that people who have recovered from the corona virus may travel into the country. Australia only allows fully vaccinated people.
Up all night
Djokovic’s lawyers discussed the treatment of the tennis player at Melbourne airport during an hour-long argument this morning. He was held there for about eight hours in the middle of the night last Wednesday before it became clear that his visa had been refused.
Officials said around 4 a.m. that they intended to refuse him entry, at 7:45 a.m. his visa was actually denied. Judge Kelly calls that ‘stressful’, writes the BBC.
Djokovic’s lawyers further argued that Djokovic’s medical exemption had been approved by two different medical boards. “He met all the conditions set by the tennis association,” his lawyer said.
Judge Kelly chimed in: “What else could this man have done?” The judge said he was “annoyed” by what he had heard so far because Djokovic provided a lot of medical evidence.
Stuck with migrants
Pending the judge’s ruling, the 34-year-old Serb has already been detained for five nights in a quarantine hotel where migrants are also held. Interest groups are taking advantage of the media attention for Djokovic and have started protesting for the rights of migrants.
The lawsuit started later than planned this morning due to technical difficulties with the live stream. Anti-vaxxers broadcast the case live on YouTube, despite being banned. The judge subsequently decided not to broadcast the case publicly.