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NZ Prime Minister says Tyson visa a 'line call'

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - Prime Minister John Key says a decision by immigration officials to award former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson a visa to enter New Zealand was a "line call" given his criminal convictions.

Tyson is due to visit New Zealand on a speaking tour this month. He was sentenced in 1992 to six years in prison after being convicted of rape. A serious criminal conviction would usually lead to the refusal of a visa, but Key said immigration officials can exercise discretion in individual cases.

Key said Tyson's visa application was approved on a "line call" because his conviction was 20 years ago and he'll be in New Zealand "for about 20 hours." He added: "It's a marginal call and there are always issues that have to be reflected."

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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