Australia’s immigration minister has released a new statement as he considers revoking tennis star Novak Djokovic’s visa.
A decision on whether or not to expel Novak Djokovic from Australia has been postponed for another day.
A spokesman for Alex Hawke said the immigration minister needed more time to evaluate the evidence from the tennis star’s team.
“Mr. Djokovic’s lawyers have recently submitted lengthy additional pieces and supporting documentation that would be relevant to the possible revocation of Mr. Djokovic’s visa,” they said.
“Of course this affects the time frame for a decision.”
The world is waiting with bated breath for an announcement whether Djokovic can stay and play at the Australian Open.
The world No. 1 tennis player is competing for his 21st Grand Slam, but despite being allowed to stay in Australia, the immigration minister has the power to expel him.
Other ministers have not been involved in the process, with power resting solely on the shoulders of Mr Hawke.
Home Secretary Karen Andrews rules out interference in the decision.
“There is nothing I can say here today that could harm those processes, and whatever processes are in place,” Ms Andrews told 4BC radio.
“It is an ongoing matter. that’s where it stands. It stands with Immigration Secretary Alex Hawke and it is within his discretion.
“(I have) absolutely not spoken to Alex regarding this matter.
“I can assure you that I will not be speaking to him in connection with this particular matter.”
More questions have been raised about Djokovic’s responses to his entry form, including allegations that he lied about not traveling in the two weeks leading up to his flight to Australia.
Over Christmas, photos of him have appeared in both Serbia and Spain.
To meet the requirement, he would have had to spend the entire two weeks in Spain – his port of departure – before flying to Australia.
Questions were also raised about the veracity of Djokovic’s December 16 positive test.
Djokovic was pictured just a day later, with his mother Dijana telling Seven that her son “probably didn’t know” he had Covid-19.
Djokovic was initially granted a visa to enter Australia despite not being vaccinated, having had a recent Covid-19 infection.
But when he arrived at Melbourne Airport last week, Australian Border Force officials were told he had no valid exemption and that his visa had been revoked.
This decision was overturned in the Federal Court after a judge found that Djokovic had not been given procedural justice.
The ball is now in the court of the Minister of Immigration.