Australian authorities intend to order the return of world number one tennis player Novak Djokovic from detention on Saturday morning, government lawyer Stephen Lloyd announced on Friday.
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The government wants the Serb to be released from detention only to attend, in the offices of his lawyers and under the surveillance of border police officers, the online court hearings concerning his case, Lloyd said. . Djokovic will not be deported from Australia until justice has been finally pronounced, had previously assured Mr. Lloyd during a hearing before a judge in Melbourne. This judge of the State of Victoria, Anthony Kelly, announced Friday that he was relinquishing in favor of the Australian federal justice, despite the objections of the player's lawyers who said they feared a slowdown in the procedure. Judge Kelly had been seized by Djokovic's lawyers with a view to blocking the cancellation of the player's visa,decided for the second time by the Australian Minister for Immigration on Friday.
Djokovic admitted to incorrectly filling out his declaration of entry into Australia, and to not respecting the rules of isolation after he tested positive for Covid-19 in December - a contamination which he hoped would allow him to benefit an exemption to enter Australia without being vaccinated. “Nole” had been turned back on his arrival in Melbourne on January 5 and placed in a detention center. But his lawyers had obtained from Judge Kelly on January 10 that he restore his visa and order his immediate release.
Immigration Minister Alex Hawke, making use of his discretion in the matter, however, once again canceled Djokovic's visa on Friday "on health and public order grounds".
The 34-year-old was aiming for a 10th title at the Australian Open, which starts on Monday, and a 21st Grand Slam victory, which would be a record.