April 17, 2006

British adventurer to appeal expulsion from Russia

MOSCOW (Reuters) - British adventurer Karl Bushby is to
appeal against a court order deporting him from Russia and
wrecking his plan to walk from South America to Britain, the
Interfax news agency reported on Monday.

The court in the remote eastern Chukotka region ruled laast
week that Bushby had broken the law by failing to get a stamp
in his passport when he stumbled onto Russian soil after
walking from Alaska across the treacherous ice of the Bering

"On Wednesday or Thursday, the foreigners will file an
appeal with the district court, from where it will be sent on
to a higher court," Interfax quoted Chukotka district court
judge Yuri Ivanov as saying.

Anyone deported from Russia is usually barred from
returning for five years -- a bitter blow for Bushby, a former
paratrooper who after seven years of walking is halfway through
his 60,000 km (36,000 mile) trek.

The object of his expedition is to follow an unbroken route
on foot. From Chukotka, the only way home is through Russian
territory. If this is off limits to him, the trip is over, his
support team in Britain say.

Bushby, 37, crossed the Bering Strait into Russia with
Dmitri Kieffer, an American whom he met in Alaska. The court
also ordered that Kieffer be deported.

The Russian media has given extensive coverage to Bushby's
case, holding him up as a plucky British eccentric foiled by
Rusian red tape.

Bushby's father Keith has appealed to Russian billionaire
Roman Abramovich to intervene. The owner of Britian's Chelsea
soccer club, Abramovich is also governor of Chukotka.