Djokovic wins legal fight against visa cancellation

Reuters
An Australian judge ruled on Monday that Novak Djokovic be released from immigration detention immediately, finding the government's decision to revoke his visa was "unreasonable."
Reuters

An Australian judge ruled on Monday that tennis star Novak Djokovic be released from immigration detention immediately, finding the government's decision to revoke his visa was "unreasonable."

Judge Anthony Kelly ordered Djokovic be freed within 30 minutes and his passport and other personal documents returned to him, rekindling the world number one's bid to win a record 21st Grand Slam title at the upcoming Australian Open.

Kelly, who earlier in proceedings had criticized the hours-long questioning of Djokovic at Melbourne's airport when he landed on Wednesday, said both the interview and the visa cancellation "was unreasonable."

Djokovic was not given enough time to speak to tennis organizers and lawyers to respond fully after he was notified of the intent to cancel his visa, the judge said.

Lawyers for the federal government told the court the country's immigration minister was reserving the right to exercise his personal power to again revoke Djokovic's visa.

After confirming that such a step, if taken, would bar Djokovic from the country for three years, Kelly warned the government lawyers that "the stakes have now risen, rather than receded."

The office of Immigration Minister Alex Hawke did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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