Causa Đoković geht weiter: Widersprüchliche Angaben könnten ihm zum Verhängnis werden

11 Jan. 2022 11:16

It is still unclear whether the world number one in men’s tennis, Novak Đoković, will be allowed to stay in Australia. While the Australian prime minister was on the phone with his Serbian counterpart on the matter, new inconsistencies emerged.

According to media reports, the Australian Border Guard is now investigating whether Novak Đoković falsely stated before his flight to Australia that he had not traveled and will not do so for two weeks. This is the latest twist in the seemingly endless story of the entry of the world’s number one in men’s tennis to Australia.

Apparently, the investigation is also about posts on social media that are supposed to show that Đoković was in Belgrade on Christmas Day before he flew from Spain to Australia on January 4th. If this is true, this would contradict the information provided by the agent of the Serbian tennis star.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison phoned his Serbian counterpart Ana Brnabić on Tuesday while the investigation was ongoing. In the conversation, Morrison is said to have emphasized that Australia’s border policy is not discriminatory. Citing the Serbian state broadcaster RTS It was said that Brnabić had asked the Australian side to treat Đoković with dignity. The Prime Minister emphasized in particular the importance of the training conditions for the Serbian tennis player, who had not been able to prepare for the upcoming tournament in the past few days.

Did Đoković cheat with his statements?

Despite the judicial victory in restoring his visa on Monday, Đoković’s fate will now be determined by Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke. The minister is personally authorized to cancel the visa again and to expel Đoković. If the visa were canceled again, Đoković would probably go to court again and apply for an injunction so as not to be detained in deportation.

However, Hawke would have to demonstrate a reason for cancellation, such as a threat to public safety, and the cancellation should be in the public interest.

"Mr. Đoković can go at any time" - fronts in the dispute over tennis star hardened

This could lead to re-scrutiny of Đoković’s pre-trip statement and public appearances in the days following his positive COVID-19 test result on December 16. In his travel declaration for Australia, submitted on January 1, Đoković responded to the question “Did you travel or will you travel to Australia in the 14 days before your flight?” with “no”. False or misleading information on this question constitutes a “serious crime” in Australia, which can also result in civil penalties.

In the files filed with the Federal Court of Justice, Đoković stated that he authorized his agent on January 1 to make this statement before traveling from Spain to Melbourne via Dubai on January 4. Speaking to border officials on January 6, Đoković confirmed that the statement had been completed by his agent “based on” his Tennis Australia-approved medical exemption. In the interview, however, he was not asked about travel in the two weeks prior to arrival.

Where was Đoković for Christmas?

However, a Twitter post from Portuguese tennis reporter Jose Morgado seems to show that Đoković was in Belgrade for Christmas and posed with handball star Petar Djordjic. In an Instagram video from December 26th, which has since apparently been removed, Đoković was also seen playing tennis in the streets of Belgrade. Đoković flew from Spain to Melbourne, where he arrived at 11:30 p.m. on January 5th.

When asked whether the travel declaration could be a new reason for the cancellation of Đoković’s visa, a spokesman for Immigration Minister Hawke kept a low profile. The minister is still examining whether he should make use of his authority. And further:

“In accordance with due process, Secretary Hawke will examine the matter carefully. As this matter has not yet been resolved, it is legally inappropriate to make further comments.

The court approves Đoković - but he will probably have to leave Australia

The travel declaration is just one of the further inconsistencies in the “Causa Đoković”. As the basis for his exemption, Đoković cited a positive COVID-19 test. Yet again Spiegel reported that the QR code for Đoković’s COVID-19 test from December 16, which was published in court documents on Monday, is said to have initially shown a negative result. According to the mirrors Accessing Đoković’s test result via a QR code on Monday evening Australian time showed a negative test result before another attempt gave a positive result.

As the British newspaper Guardian Accessed the website on Tuesday only returned positive results. A reporter from the New York Times, Ben Rothenberg, also reported that he claims to have received conflicting results from the same QR code. Đoković has now resumed training. The 34-year-old top tennis star trained with his coach Goran Ivanišević at the Rod Laver Arena, just seven hours after a court in Melbourne upheld the Serb’s objection to the denial of entry to Australia.

“I am satisfied and grateful that the judge has withdrawn the cancellation of my visa. Regardless of what happened, I want to stay and try to play,” Đoković wrote of a photo he shared on social media shortly after midnight. In a statement on Tuesday, the ATP Tour players’ association said it respected Australia’s “strict immigration policy” but it was “clear that Novak Đoković believed he had been given the necessary medical exemption to meet entry requirements”.

The series of events that led to the court hearing on Monday was harmful in every way, “including for Novak’s well-being and his preparation for the Australian Open.”

more on the subject – Australian Immigration Minister postpones decision on Đoković visa

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