Novak Djokovic is 'fighting a losing cause' says Magee
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Judge Anthony Kelly appeared sympathetic towards Novak Djokovic during the early stages of his appeal hearing at the High Court in Melbourne. Djokovic is trying to overturn the decision by Australian border force officials, who cancelled his visa.
The world No 1 tennis star has spent the last three days in a detention hotel, in a room where the windows do not open.
Djokovic has hired four specialist lawyers to try and reverse the visa decision so that he can compete in the Australian Open, which commences on January 17.
The Serbian’s lawyers began to lay out their defence in the early hours of Monday morning (GMT) by explaining the lengths Djokovic went to meet the criteria he was provided with.
And that drew some sympathy from the judge, who even admitted he was “utterly confused” at one point.
Judge Kelly said: “A professor and an eminently qualified physician have produced and provided to the applicant a medical exemption.
“Further to that, that medical exemption and the basis on which it was given was separately given by a further independent expert specialist panel, established by the Victorian state government. And that document was in the hands of the delegate.
“And the point I’m somewhat agitated about is, was what more could this man have done?”
Djokovic’s defence barrister, Nicholas Wood, explained: “Mr Djokovic did provide evidence, both before boarding and after arriving in Tullamarine.”
There were no media present in the Melbourne courtroom and the case was only watchable online.
However, the stream regularly dropped off for long spells meaning the case was delayed.
Djokovic’s defence were expected to wrap up their case by 2.45am GMT, with the prosection set to speak after a 15-minute break, at 3am.
“In substance [Novak was saying], ‘I’ve done everything that’s been asked of me,'” he says.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison gave a press conference during the court hearing and said: “The matter is before the court, so I’m not going to be making any comment on the matter before the court.
“And in relation to any other action the government may undertake, I mean, that’s purely a matter before the courts at the moment.
“But in relation to the government – our government, the federal government’s advice to Tennis Australia, that was set out very clearly in November. And I read the extract from this very podium. It could not be more clear.”
The court hearing continues and follow it live here.
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