10am has past. And right now, the Novac Djovokic saga is on in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia in Melbourne. A week before the Australian Open is to start.
The Serbian prime minister calls it a “witch hunt.”
Hall & Wilcox, Djovokic’s lawyers, have won round 1 of the battle to free him - as the Minister of Home Affairs was unable to delay this hearing for another two day for Wednesday 12 January.
Djovokic’s father, brother and family, say this fight represents the fight for freedom of the entire free world. Perhaps even the fate of the Cosmos rests on it. They assert Scott Morrison is “not human,” and have treated Novak as a “criminal”, comparing Novak's crucifixion to that of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion.
“They’re keeping him in captivity. They’re stomping all over Novak to stomp all over Serbia and Serbian people,” Srdjan, Novac's father says.
It has been reported Dvojokic was hugging plenty of children on December 17 at PR events. And shaking hands with officials and others in a Stamp Collection presentation in his honor. All a day after his alleged positive Covid test on 16 December 2021. He had also been seen at other sporting events during this period. Maybe he didn't know? And why did he take the test in the first place?
Conveniently, it is the reason a “blind” panel of independent experts, at least blind in the sense of being independent from Tennis Australia, gave him the vaccination exemption. Or had. We'll see.
The very reason he didn’t want to tell the public.The only reason we know is because his lawyers had to admit to it on 8 January in their submission the to Federal Court, two days after his arrival, or the Serbian would have been booted back to where-ever he came from.
And how did his 16 December positive COVID test get around Tennis Australia’s 10 December deadline?
Also, why didn’t he practise some self-isolation like the last time he allegedly contracted Covid in June 2020?
Somehow both Novak and Jelena Jankovic (right) at the Adria event also contracted Covid after the Adria event - seen above.
During the event, Novak admits he believes he "met all health protocols" at the height of the pandemic. Which included a cocktail of dancing, drinking, playing basketball, maskless, without social distancing.
To be fair Serbia is not known as a beacon of light when it comes to masking, social distancing, getting vacinnated - as shown by the crowds in the Dvojokics' Adria event of June 2020. Or Human Rights for that matter.
If Serbia was in charge of Australia's borders, we may have seen a "let it rip" approach from the onset with plenty of Covid parties for delighted anti-vaxxers. And I think Australians would rather leave Serbia in the hands of someone else. Serbia is free to look after itself. It also has fully vacinnated requirements to enter the country.
Freedom. We all want it. Even in these "interesting times".
Vaxxers and anti-vaxers. Left, right, centre. Djovokic is a known anti-vaxxer, along with plenty of other Serbian athletes and Serbians. He made his anti-vaxxing position clear back in April 2020 before any vacinnations were released. He never had any intention of getting vacinnated.
And he has his individual rights not to be vacinnated which is fair enough. I can stomach that.
But it cuts both ways. What about respecting the individual rights of others whilst being infected with COVID during December 2021? He showed none in exposing himself to the hundreds of people at numerous public events and sporting events. Maskless. Hugging. With no social distancing. Zero care factor. What about all their families? The elderly in their family or those susectible to COVID during this horrendous pandemic. Unless he wasn't really infected at all.
And Serbia leave Australia to look after its borders. And you do likewise.
- 10 January. In the matter of Djokovic v Minister for Home Affairs, Djovokic won his appeal against the cancelled visa on 10 January, but still faces potential deportation and a potential 3-year ban if the Minister exercises their discretionary powers. The Details of the Court Case in the Federal Circuit including live streaming of the Court proceedings can be viewed here.
- Despite the Government being damned either way, The Age make some valid points why the Government Should Still Cancel Djokovic's Visa. One reason is Djovoki's exemption is not within the "spirit of the rules." Though Djovoki has a technically valid reason for an exemption due to his 16 December positive Covid test, he had no valid medical exemption (contraindication or acute illness etc) to have avoided getting vacinnated the last time he contracted COVID a year and a half ago in June 2020. He is a known anti-vaxxer, and not willing to comply with the rules - merely looking for loopholes.
- The latest twist is Djokovic is accused of lying about his declarations on his entry card in relation to travelling to Spain within the previous two weeks. The saga continues.
- It appears Djokovic has a diplomatic passport and the Serbian PM, Ms Brnabic, is back-peddling somewhat on her initial support for the controversial professional tennis player, saying: “If you're positive you have to be in isolation. I do not know when he actually got the results, when he saw the results, so there is some grey area… the only answer to this can be provided by Novak.‘We stand by Djokovic but he should get vaccinated.’
- The world is waiting & watching for the Minister's call. I wonder, why the delay? Is it we're just weighing up legal advice and/or watching the fall out and criticism over Novak unfold, and mount, so it isn't deemed too vindictive? Or as one Immigration lawyer, Mr Kian Bone, half-implied a strategic legal measure noting:
"Mr Hawke's delay in reaching a decision bordered on punitive. If you left it any later than he has done now, I think from a strategic standpoint he's [Hawke's] really hamstringing Djokovic's legal team, in terms of what sort of options or remedies he could obtain."
- 14 January, at 5.52pm: Finally the Immigration Minister makes the call. Djovovic's visa is cancelled again. He's looking at 3 years.
- 16 January, Sunday morning. Djokovic v Minister for Immigration is on, with the appeal being heard in front of three Judges and has been transferred to the Federal Court. Apparently, the decision will be final without any recourse for appeals for either side. For updates & details refer: The Age , FCOA files and Comcourts.
- 16 January, shortly after 5:45pm. From the Age: "Novak Djokovic has lost and now faces deportation after three Federal Court judges ruled in favour of the government’s decision to cancel his visa.The ruling was unanimous."
- 17 January. Most of Djokovic's sponsors, supposedly worth $30 million a year, such as Peugeot, Swiss watchmaker Hublot, and Japanese sportswear giant Asics are not commenting on the saga, hitherto, according to CNN reports. However, Lacoste have indicated they are initiating a review of events.