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Briton’s Walk May End at 17,000 Miles

April 14, 2006

MOSCOW (AP) _ A British adventurer’s attempt to walk around the world was in jeopardy Friday after a Russian court ordered him deported for entering the country illegally.

Russian officials told Karl Bushby he would not be permitted to return for at least another five years, a development that would end his quest, Bushby’s father, Keith, told The Associated Press.

Keith Bushby said his son, who wants to be the first person to walk around the world _ from South America to Alaska into Russia and then Europe _ would appeal.

``It’s not over yet,″ the elder Bushby said in a telephone interview. ``He didn’t come all this way to just give in easily.″

Karl Bushby, 37, has walked 17,000 miles since he began his trip on Nov. 1, 1998.

He was detained for entering Russia without going through a border checkpoint on April 1 after a perilous 15-day trek across a 56-mile stretch of the frozen Bering Strait. Also detained was Dimitry Kieffer of Anchorage, Alaska, who accompanied him on the Bering leg.

``The full enormity of the situation hasn’t struck him, I think,″ Bushby said of his son, a former British paratrooper. ``It’s like the death of a loved one: It takes time to sink in.″

The court in the Russian Far East region of Chukotka ruled Friday that Bushby and Kieffer would be fined $72 each and deported.

They have 10 days to appeal.

Keith Bushby said his son and supporters had hoped for intervention from Roman Abramovich, the billionaire Russian oil tycoon who is the governor of Chukotka and owner of Britain’s Chelsea soccer club, but that they have been unable to reach him.

``It’s easier to get to the queen of England,″ he said.

Bushby said his son was not surprised by the conviction, but that he had hoped that ``given the unique circumstances, they might have shown some leniency.″

The appeal process could take up to four months to work its way through the court system.


On the Net:

Keith Bushby’s Web site: http://goliath.mail2web.com

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