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Bobby Fischer sues US Government from new Icelandic home

Monday, March 28, 2005

Chess prodigy and former world champion, Bobby Fischer, arrived by jet Thursday in Iceland after being released from prison in Japan the day before. Jailed 9 months in Japan for traveling without a valid passport, and dogged by a U.S. felony charge for violating a government sanction, the 62 year old eccentric chess genius was just last week granted Icelandic citizenship based on humanitarian grounds.

In a first order of business to clear Fischer's way into Iceland, a lawsuit was filed by his lawyer where he alleges the U.S. government conspired to have him arrested, and that his right to "due process" was violated by not providing him notice of the revocation of his passport.

Describing his detention as “…harsh conditions, amounting to torture,” Fischer said he was “kidnapped” by U.S. President Bush and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

The U.S. refuses to acknowledge Fischer’s status as citizen of Iceland, but the lawsuit blocks his deportation to the U.S. until the legal matter is resolved. Iceland does have an extradition treaty with the U.S., meaning Fischer’s troubles are far from over now. If deported to the U.S., the felony charge he faces could carry a maximum 10 year sentence.

The U.S. charges Fischer with violating government sanctions 13 years ago against Yugoslavia. He traveled to Serbia, then part of Yugoslavia, for a 1992 rematch against Boris Spassky, a Russian chess king, who Fischer defeated in 1972 to become world champion in a famous showdown in Reykjavik, Iceland.

During his flight to a stop-over in Copenhagen while en route to Iceland, Fischer conducted an interview with AP Television News on board. "Bush does not respect law," he told the AP. "It's like in the comics, like Billy Batson used to say 'Shazam!' and he becomes Captain Marvel. He (Bush) just says 'Enemy Combatant! Now you have no legal rights.' It's a farce," he said. "This is absolutely cooked up between Bush and Koizumi."

Very opinionated, but normally less outspoken, Fischer’s verbal attacks express outrage over the treatment he is receiving.

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