Novak Djokovic is set to be detained on Saturday morning in Australia after his visa was cancelled for a second time ahead of a final hearing on Sunday.
Djokovic is challenging immigration minister Alex Hawke’s decision to revoke his visa, which was announced late on Friday.
An emergency court meeting was then held on Friday night which saw Djokovic escape immediate deportation. He is expected to be formally detained on Saturday ahead of the crucial hearing a day later.
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Mr Hawke stated he had power under section 133C(3) of the Migration Act to cancel the visa held by Djokovic “on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so.”
"This decision followed orders by the Federal Circuit and Family Court on 10 January 2022, quashing a prior cancellation decision on procedural fairness grounds," he said.
"In making this decision, I carefully considered information provided to me by the Department of Home Affairs, the Australian Border Force and Mr Djokovic.
"The Morrison government is firmly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, particularly in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic."
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Djokovic’s lawyer Nick Wood, SC, said the minister had justified cancelling Djokovic’s visa on the basis the Serb’s presence in Melbourne would excite anti-vaccination sentiment.
The case has been transferred to Justice O’Callaghan in the Federal Court, who is set to hold a hearing on Saturday at 10.15am local time. Beforehand, Djokovic will be interviewed by the Australian Border Force at 8am.
Djokovic will then spend four hours from 10am-2pm at his lawyers' office on Saturday before the full hearing, which will take place on Sunday morning at 9am and only a day before the Australian Open begins.
If Djokovic fails to successfully appeal the decision he would be banned from being granted another visa for three years, but this can be waived on “compassionate grounds” if he applies for another visa.
The nine-time Australian Open winner had been drawn against compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic in the draw on Thursday. The Australian Open begins on January 17.
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