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Australian court adjourns to consider Djokovic verdict

Judgement is expected within hours



Photo: AP
Photo: AP

By Web Desk

Published: Sun 16 Jan 2022, 7:46 AM

Last updated: Sun 16 Jan 2022, 8:17 AM

Australian federal court on Sunday adjourned Novak Djokovic’s visa case to consider its verdict after hearing arguments from lawyers representing the world number one tennis player and the federal immigration minister.

“We would hope to be in a position to identify to the parties later in the afternoon what the course is that we propose,” Chief Justice James Allsop told the court.

The court will decide the fate of the tennis star after a rollercoaster 10 days that saw him detained by immigration authorities, released and then detained again ahead of a tournament that starts on Monday, reports Reuters.

Earlier, Novak Djokovic returned to court on Sunday to fight an attempt to deport him because of what a government minister described as a perception that the top-ranked tennis player was a “talisman of a community of anti-vaccination sentiment.”

Three Federal Court judges hope to hear the entire case in a single day so that the men’s No. 1-ranked tennis player and nine-time Australian Open champion might begin on Monday his title defense at the first Grand Slam tennis tournament of the year.

Djokovic spent Saturday night in an immigration detention hotel after he and his lawyers met with immigration officials earlier in the day. Television footage showed the 34-year-old Serb wearing a face mask as he sat in a vehicle near the hotel Sunday morning.

He is permitted to leave the hotel to spend Sunday in his lawyers’ offices, under the guard of two immigration officials, while the challenge is heard via a video conference, reports AP.

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Djokovic spent four nights confined to a hotel near downtown Melbourne before being released last Monday when he won a court challenge on procedural grounds against his first visa cancellation.

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke on Friday blocked the visa, which was originally revoked when he landed at a Melbourne airport on Jan. 5.

Deportation from Australia can lead to a three-year ban on returning to the country, although that may be waived, depending on the circumstances.


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