Novak Djokovic has been re-detained by the Australian Immigration Service pending trial over his deportation. The Serbian tennis player volunteered at a detention center. Where he will be housed has not been disclosed, in order to avoid a media circus.

Next Sunday, a day before he wants to defend his title at the Australian Open, the judge will decide whether Djokovic can be evicted.

Djokovic has been dominating the news in Australia since his arrival in Melbourne on January 6. The unvaccinated Serb had been told that a recent corona infection exempted him from the country’s strict entry ban. Immigration, however, stopped him at the border.

A judge ruled on Monday that the Australian government had been too strict and Djokovic was allowed to enter the country. Immigration Minister Hawke then decided to use his discretionary power and deny Djokovic entry after all. The appeal is due on Sunday.

‘Danger to public health’

In a statement, Hawke acknowledged that Djokovic had met the conditions to enter the country and there is little chance of him spreading the virus due to his recent infection. But he added that Djokovic could have a negative impact on public health: his refusal to take the corona vaccine could undermine vaccination willingness and, moreover, as a role model he should have followed the isolation rules better.

In a statement earlier this week, Djokovic acknowledged that he had broken the rules after being infected: although he knew he was infected, he allowed a scheduled interview to go ahead, because the appointment would have been difficult to reschedule. He swore that he had tested negative at other meetings around that time, including with a group of youth tennis players.

Whether Sunday’s hearing is the last depends on the form the judge chooses. If it is decided to first submit the case to one judge, there is still an option to appeal to the full court. If it is decided to immediately conclude the trial with three judges, there is no longer any appeal for either party against the ruling.


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