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NOVAK DJOKOVIC: World Number one has visa cancelled again

NOVAK DJOKOVIC: World Number one has visa cancelled again

PA - Adam Davy

 

Novak Djokovic has had his Australian visa cancelled for a second time.

The world number one had been waiting since a judge overturned the original decision on Monday to find out whether Immigration Minister Alex Hawke would use his powers to reimpose the penalty.

And, just before 6pm (7am UK time) on Friday, Hawke released a statement saying he had made the judgement to send Djokovic home “on health and good order grounds”.

A court hearing in front of Judge Anthony Kelly, who overturned the original cancellation, was quickly convened for Monday evening, where Djokovic’s legal team revealed they would seek the same outcome as the first hearing.

It was confirmed the minister was not seeking to detain the world number one overnight but he would be detained at 8am on Saturday morning at the Department for Home Affairs and, after spending time with his lawyers preparing his case, he would then be taken back into detention on Saturday night.

Although the reasons for Hawke’s decision have not yet been published, Djokovic’s lawyer Nick Wood revealed the central tenet was not the legality of the exemption, his threat to public health or concerns over his conduct but the potential for “exciting anti-vax sentiment” on the basis of two statements he made in 2020 and the effect on public order.

Wood described those conclusions as seeming “patently irrational”.

He is pushing for the hearing to take place on Sunday, allowing a decision to be made ahead of the Australian Open.

Wood said: “We are where we are because of the time the minister has taken. We are moving as fast as we can.”

Hawke will not push for Djokovic to be deported until proceedings come to an end or are transferred to a different court.


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