Bobby Fischer's fate in hands of official

Dec. 17, 2004 at 6:00 PM

TOKYO, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Chess legend Bobby Fischer Friday waited in a Japanese jail to see if he would face trial in the United States or be allowed to go to Iceland.

Fischer's fate appeared to be in the hands of the head of the East Japan Immigration Detention Center in Ushiku, Mainichi Daily News reported. He alone has the power to alter documents ordering Fischer's deportation.

Fischer was charged more than a decade ago in the United States with breaking sanctions by playing a chess match in Yugoslavia in 1992. Iceland, where Fischer made history by defeating Boris Spassky in 1972, this week offered him residency.

Fischer's Japanese lawyer told supporters he would drop his legal fight against deportation immediately if he is allowed to go to Iceland. But she said the battle would continue if he is ordered to face trial in the United States.

Under Japanese law, foreigners are usually deported to their country of origin. But exceptions can be made if they have a legitimate claim of persecution or wish to go to another country where they have lived.

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