The Australian Border Force are investigating claims that Novak Djokovic allegedly lied on his entry form to enter the country in another twist to the ongoing visa saga.
It appears the reigning Australian Open champion made a false declaration claiming he had not travelled in the 14 days leading up to his arrival in Melbourne.
All travellers arriving in Australia are asked if they have ‘travelled or will travel in the 14 days prior to your flight to Australia’.
They are also warned: ‘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 ticked ‘No’ in response to the question, however that appears to be in direct conflict with the timeline of his recent movements, the Herald Sun reported.
According to his sworn affidavit, Djokovic departed Spain on January 4 and had a stopover in Dubai before landing in Melbourne late on the night of January 5.
The timings mean Djokovic would have had to be in Spain from 11.30pm on December 22 AEDT, or 1.30pm Spanish time to comply with the rules not to travel within two weeks of arriving in Australia.
But social media posts show the Serbian superstar playing tennis in the streets of Belgrade on December 25 while another on the same day shows him pictured with handball star Petar Djordjic.
The maximum penalty for providing false or misleading information to the Australian government is 12 months imprisonment.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Serbian counterpart has requested direct liaison between governments about issues over Djokovic’s visa.
The prime minister’s office said Mr Morrison had a constructive call with Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić on Tuesday morning.
In the call, Mr Morrison explained Australia’s non-discriminatory border policy and its role in protecting the country during the covid pandemic.
The two leaders agreed to stay in contact on the issue, and to further strengthening the bilateral relationship.
Serbia’s public broadcaster, RTS, reported the Serbian prime minister asked Mr Morrison to ensure the tennis star was treated with dignity.
‘The (Serbian) prime minister especially emphasised the importance of the conditions for training and physical preparation for the upcoming competition, considering that Novak Djokovic was not allowed to train in the previous days, and the tournament in Melbourne starts this weekend,’ RTS reported.
‘The prime minister also asked (Mr) Morrison to be in direct contact in the coming days and for all information to be exchanged directly between the government of Serbia and the government of Australia.’
It comes as the fallout over the cancellation of Djokovic’s visa – which was then overturned – continues to make international headlines.
Following the court decision, which the government says was ‘on a procedural ground’, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke is considering whether to use his discretionary powers to cancel Djokovic’s visa.
‘The minister is currently considering the matter and the process remains ongoing,’ a spokesman told AAP.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the Australian Open was bigger than one player but that he was not lobbying Mr Hawke to act either way.
‘I’m not going to be out there every day calling for him to use them or not use them, that’s a matter for him,’ he said.
‘He ought to do that free of any pressure, free of any public debate.‘
Source: Thanks msn.com