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Last Updated: Friday, 25 March, 2005, 02:12 GMT
Bobby Fischer arrives in Iceland
Bobby Fischer after his release from Japanese detention
After his release Fischer went straight to Tokyo airport
Former world chess champion Bobby Fischer has arrived in Iceland's capital, Reykjavik, after spending eight months in detention in Japan.

Mr Fischer has been granted Icelandic citizenship, avoiding deportation to his native United States.

He is wanted in the US for breaking international sanctions by playing a match in Yugoslavia in 1992.

The 62-year-old chess legend was detained in July trying to leave Japan using a revoked US passport.

After his release on Thursday he flew from Tokyo to Denmark on a scheduled flight.

He then boarded a private plane chartered by Icelandic television.

Controversial

Before leaving Japan, he told reporters that his arrest last year had been a "kidnapping cooked up by Bush and Koizumi" - referring to US President George W Bush and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

Bobby Fischer's Icelandic passport - 7/3/05

The former champion has many supporters in Iceland, after playing a world championship match there in 1972 at the height of the Cold War, beating the Soviet Union's Boris Spassky.

Japan's justice ministry decided to let Mr Fischer travel to Iceland after being shown documents proving he had been granted Icelandic citizenship, Japanese reports said.

Moving to Iceland does not mean Mr Fischer is now beyond Washington's reach as Iceland, like Japan, has an extradition treaty with the US.

The US said it was disappointed at the move. "Mr Fischer is a fugitive from justice," said a US state department spokesman.

He has alienated many in his homeland by broadcasting anti-Semitic diatribes and expressing support for the 11 September 2001 attacks.

The reclusive Mr Fischer had lived undetected in Japan for a number of years.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Bobby Fischer defiant after winning freedom




SEE ALSO:
Iceland grants Fischer passport
21 Mar 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Fischer 'must be deported to US'
15 Mar 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Bobby Fischer punished over fight
07 Mar 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Fischer demands to go to Iceland
24 Dec 04 |  Asia-Pacific


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