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TENNIS

Has Djokovic been re-arrested and when will Hawke decide on deportation from Australia?

Novak Djokovic won a court battle over his right to remain in Australia on Monday, but Immigration Minister Alex Hawke may yet deport the Serb.

Update:
Police try to hold back supporters of Serbia's Novak Djokovic as they surround a car as it leaves the offices of his legal team in Melbourne on January 10, 2022, after the tennis champion earlier in the day won a court battle to overturn the cancella
PATRICK HAMILTONAFP

A judge ordered Novak Djokovic to be released from detention on Monday after quashing the Australian government’s cancellation of his visa - and the tennis star's family has contradicted reports that he has since been re-detained.

Judge says ABF did not follow proper process

In a court hearing conducted virtually, Judge Anthony Kelly ruled that the Australian Border Force did not give Djokovic sufficient time to respond before it made its final decision to revoke his visa early on Thursday.

The men’s world number one, who had arrived in the country ahead of this month’s Australian Open, had his visa cancelled after the ABF refused to accept the unvaccinated Serb's exemption to rules requiring all players and staff at the tournament to be inoculated against covid-19.

Judge Kelly also ordered the government to pay Djokovic’s legal fees, which one expert has estimated could cost Australia's taxpayers around 200,000 Australian dollars.

See also:

Reports over Djokovic re-detention denied

In the wake of Monday’s court ruling, reports in Serbia claimed Djokovic had been re-detained, as Australia’s immigration minister, Alex Hawke, considers whether to use special powers to cancel the player’s visa for a second time.

The claims, which cited the 34-year-old's father, Srdan, and brother, Djordje, were quickly denied by Australian government officials speaking to the local newspaper the Sydney Morning Herald.

Djokovic to speak to media, father says

And in a press conference given later on Monday, Djordje said the nine-time Australian Open champion is "free" and has already been practising at Melbourne Park, the venue for the tournament.

The player himself posted a message on Twitter during the press conference, describing himself as "pleased and grateful" that the cancellation of his visa has been quashed, and adding: "Despite all that has happened, I want to stay and try to compete at the Australian Open."

Hawkes "currently considering" Djokovic visa, spokesperson says

According to Section 133(C) of Australia’s Migration Act, Hawke can revoke Djokovic’s visa if he feels it is “in the public interest” to do so.

It is being widely reported that the minister will not make a decision on Djokovic’s right to remain in Australia until Tuesday.

“Following today’s Federal Circuit and Family Court determination on a procedural ground, it remains within Immigration Minister Hawke’s discretion to consider cancelling Mr Djokovic’s visa under his personal power of cancellation within section 133C(3) of the Migration Act,” a spokesperson for Hawke said, per Reuters.

“The Minister is currently considering the matter and the process remains ongoing.”

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