January 14, (THEWILL) – The embattled Novak Djokovic will remain in Australia on Saturday morning after his visa was revoked for the second time, ahead of a final hearing on Sunday.
Djokovic is appealing the decision of Immigration Minister Alex Hawke to withdraw his visa, which was revealed late Friday, Australian time.
On Friday night, an emergency court hearing was held, and Djokovic was able to avoid deportation. On Saturday, he is anticipated to be legally detained in preparation for the key hearing the next day.
As THEWILL reported, 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.”
Hawke continued: “This decision followed orders by the Federal Circuit and Family Court on 10 January 2022, quashing a prior cancellation decision on procedural fairness grounds.
“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.”
According to Djokovic’s lawyer, Nick Wood, SC, the minister justified cancelling Djokovic’s visa by claiming that the Serb’s presence in Melbourne would inflame anti-vaccination sentiment.
The case has been assigned to Federal Court Justice O’Callaghan, who will hold a hearing on Saturday at 10.15 am local time. Djokovic will be interviewed by the Australian Border Force at 8 am prior to the match.
Djokovic will then spend four hours on Saturday at his lawyers’ office, from 10 am to 2 pm, before the full hearing on Sunday morning at 9 am, just one day before the Australian Open begins.
If Djokovic does not win his appeal, he will be barred from obtaining a new visa for three years, but this can be cancelled if he applies for another visa on “compassionate grounds”
In the draw on Thursday, the nine-time Australian Open champion was pitted against fellow countryman Miomir Kecmanovic. On January 17, the Australian Open will begin with or without the world number one.