Australian Government Denies Novak Djokovic Was Arrested After Winning Visa Appeal
06:24 GMT 10.01.2022 (Updated: 18:47 GMT 19.10.2022)
World number one tennis player Novak Djokovic had been denied entry to Australia after landing in Melbourne last week to play in the Australian Open over visa issues.
Australian Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews confirmed that Novak Djokovic has not been arrested.
Earlier, media reported that Djokovic has been arrested again in Melbourne, not long after he'd been released from his detention.
Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke is considering scrapping Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic's entry visa again after a court overturned the cancellation on Monday.
Hawke’s spokesperson said in a statement that "it remains within Immigration Minister Hawke’s discretion to consider cancelling Mr Djokovic’s visa under his personal power of cancellation."
"The Minister is currently considering the matter and the process remains ongoing," the spokesperson was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.
Earlier in the day, a federal district court in Melbourne overturned 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 centre 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.