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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 April 2006, 23:23 GMT 00:23 UK
Judge to decide explorer's fate
Karl Bushby
Karl Bushby has a local lawyer to defend him in court
A Russian judge will decide whether a British explorer who is walking around the world should be tried for entering the country without paperwork.

Karl Bushby, 36, from Hull, arrived near the unauthorised entry point of Uelen on 2 April having walked across the frozen Bering Strait from Alaska.

He and fellow explorer Dimitri Kieffer were later detained by border guards and moved to the village of Lavrentiya.

If sent for trial and found guilty they could be fined and face deportation.

Long walk

Mr Bushby, a former paratrooper, entered Russia during his 12-year record-breaking bid to walk around the world, known as the Goliath expedition.

He has spent the last seven-and-a-half years in his quest and hopes to arrive home in four years.

His father Keith told the BBC the deportation should not spell the end of the epic journey.

It took 14 days to cross the strait

His father said of the Russian authorities: "If they say, 'yes, you've got to leave until the paperwork is sorted, but come back to us', then it's a different ball game.

"But if they say, 'go and never darken our door again', then we've got serious problems as far as the expedition goes".

On a website charting his son's progress he said he had received emails from both men and they were doing well.

They had a local lawyer to defend them and a translator.

"They are progressively learning Russian in order to be able to adapt to their new surroundings, relying heavily on a phrase book and dictionary borrowed from the local library," he added.

The pair are staying with a local priest in Lavrentiya, about 500 miles north-east of the Chukota provincial capital, Anadyr, but have been told they must not leave the village.

A British embassy spokesman in Moscow confirmed "a decision by Russian authorities may be made shortly".

"We're working with Karl to establish what it is he wants to do and how he can do that," they said.



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