Wellington, Oct 4 (TruthDive): Government authorities of New Zealand on Wednesday have barred Mike Tyson, the former boxing heavyweight champion and imprisoned rapist from entering into the country.
Originally, Tyson had been given visa, despite the opposition from New Zealand’s Prime Minister, to visit the country for an event in November.
Kate Wilkinson, associate Immigration Minister had said that the visa has been cancelled when Life Education Trust, the show sponsor made clear that it does not want to have any involvement with Mike Tyson’s visit.
Wilkinson said initially Mike Tyson was granted a visa with a letter from the Trust that was a major factor in approving the application.
The boxing champion was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment in 1992 accused of raping an 18-year-old woman. As per the law in New Zealand anyone given more than 5 years prison sentence is denied visa, although the process can be given up in certain special circumstances.
Tyson’s visa decision has been described as “a line ball call.” Wilkinson said he did not understand the basis behind allowing Mike Tyson into New Zealand and said he would not approve a visa to anyone with such serious conviction as violence and rape case against a woman. He said that he could see the issue from both the sides, maybe the incident happened long time before, but in his view he considered it as a very, very serious issue.
John O’Connell, chief executive of Life Education Trust told Fairfax Media that his trust had initially turned down Tyson and the support letter was written by some unauthorised volunteer.
O’Connell said that they were a charity organisation which works with children, their relationships and self-esteem with others. Day of the Champions promoters approached the Trust in mid-August, asking it to support Tyson’s visa bid in return for a share of their profits, he said. That offer was declined on August 24, with Tyson’s rape conviction a “major factor” in the decision, O’Connell said.