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New Zealand cancels Mike Tyson's visa

Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - 00:38

Oct. 3 - New Zealand revokes an entry visa for former heavyweight boxing champion and convicted rapist Mike Tyson after a charity set to benefit from his visit drops its support. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT ONLY- NO REPORTER NARRATION New Zealand revoked an entry visa for former heavyweight boxing champion and convicted rapist Mike Tyson on Wednesday after a charity set to benefit from his visit dropped its support. Forty-six-year-old Tyson, who served three years of a six-year U.S. jail sentence for rape in 1992, had been due to take part in an event in November, but needed a dispensation under New Zealand immigration laws because of his conviction. Associate Immigration Minister Kate Wilkinson said the original decision to allow Tyson in had been a "finely balanced call", with the backing of the charity a significant factor in the dispensation being granted. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ASSOCIATE MINISTER OF IMMIGRATION, KATE WILKINSON, SAYING: "If he can come here and help them fund raise and help inspire some young kids to turn their lives around, then that's sort of what brought it over the line." However, youth-related charity The Life Education Trust, which originally backed his visit to appear at the event, billed as "Day of the Champions", said it no longer wanted to have anything to do with Tyson's visit due to his rape conviction. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF EXECUTIVE, LIFE EDUCATION TRUST, JOHN O'CONNELL, SAYING: "We didn't want to support it, and it appears it continued on with that, with one of our trustees, and the letter went in, and we became aware of that yesterday." Tyson's planned visit had been attacked by women's groups and criticised by the Prime Minister.

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New Zealand cancels Mike Tyson's visa

Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - 00:38