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Supporter slams deportation charge against ex-chess champ Fischer.

TOKYO, July 29 Kyodo

A supporter of former world chess champion Bobby Fischer decried Thursday the Japanese immigration authorities' decision to reject Fischer's appeal not to be deported, saying the case is unjust, weak in evidence and carries political undertones.

''Bobby Fischer is convinced that this is a politically motivated act and the evidence seems to support that,'' John Bosnitch, a Tokyo-based communications consultant advising Fischer in his deportation process, told reporters in Tokyo.

Fischer, 61, has been wanted by the United States since he played and won a historic, controversial match in 1992 in Yugoslavia against longtime rival Boris Spassky of the former Soviet Union despite U.S. orders not to in light of U.N. sanctions against Yugoslavia.

With the rejection of his appeal, the renowned U.S. chess celebrity now faces a choice to appeal his case to the justice minister until midnight Friday, the expiry date of the appeal.

''I expect him to make use of it,'' Bosnitch said.

Bosnitch said Fischer has also filed a request for provisional release while the appeal against deportation is ongoing although Fischer believes the deportation process ''should be struck down in its entirety.''

Former House of Councillors member Ichiji Ishii of the Liberal League who is a friend of Fischer has presented himself as a guarantor for Fischer's provisional release. Miyoko Watai of the Japan Chess Association and also a friend of Fischer has also lent support to Fischer's cause.

Bosnitch dismissed allegations that Fischer, a U.S. citizen, tried to leave Japan in mid-July with an invalid passport, saying, ''Bobby Fischer tried to leave the country with a valid passport which has been illegally taken, stolen from him at Narita airport.''

Fischer, who has traveled extensively, had his passport reissued in November in Switzerland after the pages of his previous passport were filled up, according to Bosnitch. He arrived in Japan on April 15 for a 90-day visit and was leaving for the Philippines in mid-July when he was taken into custody by immigration officials.

He also took issue at the Japanese immigration officials' move to base their case solely on a purported letter showing that Fischer's passport was revoked, when the original copy has not been sent to Fischer himself.

The letter was dated Dec. 11, 2003, and addressed to a consul in the U.S. Embassy in Manila, but Bosnitch argues that the letter is not authentic and that there has since been no response from the embassy over its validity.

The Canadian supporter of the chess champ also said the immigration authorities mistreated Fischer, saying it was ''unmistakable'' he was beaten at Narita airport and while in detention, citing bruises on the face and visibly chipped teeth.

Bosnitch, who is part of a group called the Committee to Free Bobby Fischer, also said the case has nothing to do with past controversial remarks made by Fischer, including one in which he praised the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks on the United States and anti-Semitic remarks.

He termed the matter a ''nonissue'' and dismissed reports about talk of extradition, saying such a move had never been ''raised or discussed.''
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Publication:Asian Political News
Date:Aug 2, 2004
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