Novak Djokovic detained ahead of deportation appeal

Novak Djokovic has been detained in Australia ahead of a court hearing that will determine whether the tennis star can stay in the country unvaccinated.

The Serbian faces deportation after his visa was cancelled for a second time, with the government labelling the 34-year-old a threat to public health.

His lawyers are appealing against what they called an “irrational” judgement, with the hearing set for Sunday.

Djokovic is still scheduled to play the Australian Open on Monday in Melbourne.

If he were to win the tournament for a 10th time, he would become the most successful men’s tennis player in the history of the sport with 21 major titles.

But Sunday’s hearing, which has been scheduled for 09:30 local time (22:30 GMT on Saturday), is crucial if Djokovic is to be able to compete just hours later.

If he loses the appeal, the world’s top-ranked men’s tennis player faces deportation and a three-year visa ban.

On Saturday, shortly after an online procedural hearing, Djokovic’s lawyers confirmed that he would spend the night in immigration detention at an undisclosed location in Melbourne.

At the hearing, Justice David O’Callaghan set the time for Sunday’s proceeding but said it was yet to be decided whether it would be heard by a single judge or a full court of three.

Court documents were released later on Saturday that showed Immigration Minister Alex Hawke chose to cancel Djokovic’s visa because – in his view – the unvaccinated player’s presence …read more

Source:: Colombo Gazette