Chess master Bobby Fischer pauses before the start of the fifth game in Sveti Stefan, Yugoslavia, during the 1992 match that made him a wanted man. His trip to play there violated U.N. sanctions.
updated 8/4/2004 1:09:42 PM ET 2004-08-04T17:09:42

Former world chess champion Bobby Fischer could be detained a long time while fighting a deportation order to the United States, his lawyer said Wednesday.

Masako Suzuki filed a request Wednesday that Fischer, who was detained July 13 at an airport outside Tokyo, be released from custody while appealing the deportation order. However, Suzuki said she was not optimistic about her chances of success.

"Japanese law allows for the authorities to hold people in this situation for 60 days," she told The Associated Press. "Normally, they stick by that."

Fischer, who was detained at Narita airport on charges of traveling with a revoked U.S. passport, also has filed for refugee status. A decision on that could take months because the government likely would have to hold a hearing, said John Bosnitch, a Tokyo-based adviser to Fischer.

The American chess legend is wanted by U.S. authorities for playing a 1992 match for $3 million in the former Yugoslavia in violation of international sanctions.

He was detained while trying to board a flight to the Philippines.

The Justice Ministry rejected Fischer's application for political asylum Tuesday because two photographs accompanying the documents did not have his name written on the back.

Both applications were accepted by officials Wednesday, Bosnitch said.

If his request for provisional release is denied, Fischer intends to immediately file another one, Bosnitch said.

Earlier, Suzuki said the 61-year-old Fischer has complained of rough treatment, not seeing the sun, not being allowed to exercise and being subjected to secondhand smoke.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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