Pranksters had something else in mind on Monday when they targeted and disrupted a court hearing with loud music and porn. Novak Djokovic, the 20-time Grand Slam tennis champion from Serbia, was in a virtual court on Monday in a hearing related to his visa cancellation when hijackers interrupted the online legal proceedings.
Just before the Livestream kicked off, unsuspecting journalists who clicked on an expired Microsoft Teams link supplied by the court were bombarded with porn instead of the anticipated visa-related court hearing.
Australian journalist Sarah Dankert described the live-streamed chaos as, “techno blasting, giggling, shouting and someone is just saying Nole repeatedly in a pained voice.”
Once the tainted link was eventually replaced with a new link, just in time for the 10 a.m. hearing, it was found to lead to a website that had crashed after being overcome with visits.
According to The Times of India, the virtual chaos continued when a member of the public gained access to the court proceedings’ Livestream, announcing, “We’re in.”
Presiding Judge Anthony Kelly responded: “Can I ask whoever is on the screen to mute themselves… the only people who should be online with their microphones are those who are making submissions to the court.”
The court continued to struggle with technical difficulties, with most media outlets gathering their information from a re-broadcast offered by a tennis podcast.
Finally, the court provided a link to their YouTube channel, just in time for those watching to hear the final ruling in Novak Djokovic v Minister for Home Affairs, in which Djokovic won his case.
Djokovic recently grabbed mainstream headlines as he tried to enter Australia with a COVID-19 vaccine medical exemption for the Australian Open, one of four major annual grand slams. However, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has argued that the tennis champion didn’t get one to enter the country.
The Serbian player has since been held in immigration detention at the Park Hotel in Melbourne. The hotel has received criticism by human rights activists for detaining asylum seekers for undisclosed periods at a time, sometimes years, and serving detainees food which, according to some reports, was either moldy or crawling with maggots.
Ian Rintoul, a spokesperson at Refugee Action Coalition said, “[The maggots] were alive in the plastic dish… People refused to eat it and demanded that it be taken away.”
The Australian government considered Djokovic to be a health and safety risk, as he isn’t vaccinated, and though Djokovic has won his initial court case and has been released from immigration detention, the Australian government has warned him that the immigration minister is still able to cancel his visa. Therefore, although he has been able to leave the Park Hotel, his chance to play in the Australian Open remains undetermined.