An Australian judge bowed to an emergency hearing on Novak Djokovic’s file on Friday evening (8:45 PM, 10:45 AM in Belgium) local time. Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke had previously exercised his personal powers to revoke Novak Djokovic’s visa and wants to expel him from the country. Djokovic is challenging that decision and may remain in Australia for the time being. It is still a long wait for a final decision.
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The hearing has meanwhile been temporarily suspended, because night has fallen in Australia. Djokovic will not be held tonight. Provided that he reports again tomorrow morning at 8:00 am. The tennis player would be remanded in custody on Saturday afternoon and the hearing was likely to continue on Sunday.
Djokovic’s lawyer said during the emergency hearing Friday evening after Djokovic’s visa was revoked for the second time, that the tennis player does not pose an immediate danger to others. His lawyer says the reason for the cancellation of Djokovic’s visa is that his presence in Melbourne would “fire up” the anti-vaxxer community. His lawyer countered that reason by citing that the immigration minister does not take into account the effect on the anti-vaxxers when someone with a low risk to the population is so harassed.
No final decision yet
Judge Anthony Kelly must determine whether the Australian Immigration Minister’s decision to revoke Djokovic’s visa will stand. The same Kelly canceled the first visa withdrawal of the Serbian tennis star on Monday. So far, no final decision has been made on this.
The Australian Open starts on Monday. So time is running out for the Serbian defending champion. If proven wrong, he will be immediately deported. If he is right, he will still participate in the Australian Open. The Serbian tennis player’s name was already included in the Australian Open draw. He would meet his compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic (ATP 78) in the first round. Djokovic would be chasing his 21st Grand Slam victory in Melbourne, which would make him the record holder.
Djokovic had his visa withdrawn by customs last week on arrival in Australia because there were problems with the medical exemption he received to enter the country without a vaccination certificate. However, the judge then overturned that decision.
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