New visa twist as more Novak accusations emerge
After the decision to cancel Novak Djokovic's visa was overturned in Federal Court on Monday, the Serbian tennis champ is still at risk of being deported ahead of the Australian Open.
Questions are now being asked about the information Novak provided on his Australia Travel Declaration form, as Australian Border Force officials are investigating if he lied on the document.
Djokovic is facing allegations of traveling from his native Serbia to Spain in the 14 days before he flew to Australia last week.
In his Travel Declaration form, the tennis champ ticked a box saying he has not travelled, and was not planning to travel, in the fortnight before his trip to Melbourne.
A statement on the form reads, “Note: Giving false or misleading information is a serious offence. You may also be liable to a civil penalty for giving false or misleading information.”
Djokovic flew from Spain to Dubai on January 4th, then boarded a flight from Dubai to Melbourne on January 5th.
Following social media posts of Novak appearing to be in the Serbian capital of Belgrade over Christmas, multiple reports from international media outlets claim that Novak was in fact in Spain in early January to prepare for the Australian Open, which begins next week.
On January 4, the Tennis Head website reported: “Djokovic is still training in Marbella, Spain on the same surface and with the official balls for the Australian Open.”
On Monday night, a spokesman for Federal Immigration Alex Hawke said “it remains within (his) ... discretion to consider cancelling Mr Djokovic’s visa under his personal power of cancellation within section 133C (3) of the Migration Act”.
— SotoTennis Academy (@SotoTennis) December 31, 2021
“The Minister is currently considering the matter and the process remains ongoing,” the spokesman said.
Government lawyer Christopher Tran said that if the Immigration Minister chooses to exercise his "personal power of cancellation", Novak would be unable to return to Australia for three years.
Image credits: Getty Images
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