Novak Djokovic canceled his visa days before the Australian Open

Novak Djokovic will be released back into custody on Saturday as he fights Immigration Minister Alex Hawke’s decision to cancel his visa days before the australian open begin.

The tennis star’s attorney, during an urgent hearing before Federal Circuit and Family Court Judge Anthony Kelly on Friday night, said every minute was “extremely precious” in the “extraordinary circumstances” given the tournament starts on Monday.

Nick Wood SC sought an immediate injunction to stop Djokovic being deported from Australia and it was agreed that he would not be deported until the end of legal proceedings.

However, Judge Kelly ruled in favor of government lawyer Stephen Lloyd to bring Djokovic back into custody from 8 a.m. on Saturday, when he is due to be questioned again by police officers. immigration.

Novak Djokovic’s visa was canceled ‘in the public interest’ just days before the start of the Australian Open tournament. (AP)

Djokovic will be allowed to be at his lawyer’s office on Saturday, but will be under the supervision of two Australian Border Force officers and will be held in custody on Saturday evening. He will be allowed to return to his legal team on Sunday for the scheduled visa cancellation hearing.

Judge Kelly also ordered that the case be transferred to Federal Court.

Mr Wood was scathing about how long it took the minister to make the decision to cancel the Serb’s visa, drawing attention to the fact that it was only done late on Friday.

“We are where we are because of the time the minister has taken,” Mr Wood said during the urgent hearing on Friday evening.

“We are moving as fast as we can.”

Mr Wood revealed that one of the reasons Djokovic’s visa was canceled was concern over the “exciting anti-vax sentiment” among Serbs if he was allowed to stay in Australia.

Mr Wood called the reasoning “grossly irrational”, saying the decision failed to take into account whether deporting Djokovic from the country would have a similar effect.

“The minister only considers the potential to stir up anti-vax sentiment if he (Djokovic) is present,” he said.

Minister cancels visa ‘in the public interest’

The Serbian tennis star was expected to fight Mr Hawke’s decision, which was announced just before 6pm on Friday.

“Today I exercised my authority under Section 133C(3) of the Migration Act to cancel the visa held by Mr. Novak Djokovic for reasons of health and good order, on the grounds that ‘it was in the public interest to do so,’ Mr Hawke said. in a report.

“In making this decision, I have carefully considered the information provided to me by the Home Office, the Australian Border Force and Mr Djokovic.

“The Morrison government is strongly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison issued a statement on Friday evening regarding Mr Hawke’s decision, saying it was taken to protect the “sacrifices” of Australians.

“Australians have made many sacrifices during this pandemic, and they rightly expect the outcome of those sacrifices to be protected,” the statement read.

“That is what the minister is doing by taking this action today.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison during a press conference at Parliament in Canberra.
On Friday evening, Prime Minister Scott Morrison issued a statement regarding Mr Hawke’s decision. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Djokovic may not be able to return to Australia for three years after the decision, as Judge Kelly confirmed in court on Monday when the possibility of the Minister canceling Djokovic’s visa was raised that such a ban could happen. However, the Australian government could use its discretion not to apply this ban to the tennis star.

Djokovic was included in the draw for the Australian Open yesterday after no decision to allow or revoke his visa was made on Thursday.

Djokovic was arrested by the Australian Border Force upon his arrival in Melbourne last week on the grounds that he did not qualify for a medical exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine requirements.

Independent Tasmania Senator Jacqui Lambie this morning called for an end to the long wait.

“Why does this keep flowing from the tap? Why hasn’t the minister done anything about it?” Senator Lambie said today.

Fans led by Djokovic’s family gathered in Serbia after the tennis star was arrested in Melbourne. (AP)

“If he’s going to do it on character, because they believe his submission has been lied to, then, you know, that’s what we do when our kids play at school. They get sent home.

“So maybe it’s time to stop this debacle, to end it once and for all without the tap continuing to run and to make a decision.”

She asked why Immigration Minister Alex Hawke was “missing”.

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke.
Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has been asked to make a decision. (New)

“If you can’t make a decision on Novak Djokovic, my God, how are you running the country? It’s an absolute mess,” she said.

“Not to mention what it makes us look like to the rest of the world. It is absolutely shocking.

Former Australian tennis star Sam Groth said Djokovic’s situation frustrated his teammates.

“A lot of players made the decision to get vaccinated, whether they wanted to or not, so they could come and play at the Australian Open,” he told Today.

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“A lot of the players who made this decision just so they could come to Melbourne Park feel like it’s a rule for Novak and a rule for everyone else.”

Border Force is investigating whether Djokovic provided false information on his travel declaration.

The saga first sparked a massive outcry in Djokovic’s native Serbia, with his family leading rallies in the streets, while in Melbourne crowds gathered outside the hotel Djokovic has been temporarily confined to over the weekend. -end.

But that ardor cooled somewhat after Djokovic admitted to breaking Serbia’s COVID-19 isolation rules, a breach that could land him a prison sentence.

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