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Sea Shepherd offered bail, can't leave Germany

The Local · 19 May 2012, 12:32

Published: 19 May 2012 12:32 GMT+02:00

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Watson was arrested last Sunday when he arrived in Frankfurt on an international arrest warrant from Costa Rica on charges relating to a high seas confrontation over shark finning in 2002.

The 61-year-old environmentalist will probably remain in custody over the weekend, his lawyer Oliver Wallasch said, as it would take a few days to raise the bail money.

Watson is accused of attacking the crew of a Costa Rican ship in Guatemalan waters with a water cannon.

Sea Shepherd is best known for its annual pursuit of the Japanese whaling fleet in the ocean near Antarctica, using increasingly militant ways to halt the hunt.

This year, after setting off from Australia, the group hurled stink bombs at the boats on the high seas and used ropes to try to tangle their propellers in a series of exchanges which saw the whalers retaliate with water cannon.

The whaling fleet killed less than a third of the animals it planned to because of the sabotage attempts.

Leader of the Greens’ parliamentary party Volker Beck said Watson should not be sent to Costa Rica, while a small demonstration was held in front of the German Justice Ministry in Berlin during the week.

“It is to be feared that Paul Watson would not get a fair trial in Costa Rica,” said Beck, adding it was at least not unlikely that the fact that Watson was being pursued so long after the incident pointed to a political motive.

Story continues below…

The Costa Rican government now has three months to submit a formal extradition request complete with supporting documentation. The German court will then decide what to do with Watson.

DPA/AFP/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:47 May 19, 2012 by reinertj
So what happened to the Icelandic arrest warrent, or the Norwegian one?
14:45 May 19, 2012 by maxbrando
It is time to get tough with these people. Send them back to Costa Rica for the same sort of "rough" justice they have administered to others for years without trial or conviction. They all need good kicks in their crotches. About 4 each should do the job.
15:00 May 19, 2012 by hanskarl
Soon someone will want to make a movie about him. At least they could hire Sacha Baron Cohen to play the part.
15:45 May 19, 2012 by ovalle3.14

Who exactly, do you say Costa Rica has held for years without trial or conviction? As a Costa Rican, I'm quite curious.
22:02 May 19, 2012 by DJensen
maxbrando and hanskari

So, what you must be saying is that it is perfectly fine to go after sharks and kill them for their fins so someone in Asia can have shark fin soup, even if the oceans are dying because of this kind of unsustainable, outrageous decimating of a species for its crass commercial value. If there are reasons why our species will not survive you display the clearest reasons. The guy is a hero and should be treated as such. We should all be contributing to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Sociiety he formed to give us a slight chance of surviving as a species 300 years from now. Exactly what do you think you will eat when all the fish are gone because the oceans are dead?
00:10 May 20, 2012 by raandy
Paul Watson has brought many barbaric and unnecessary practices involving marine life into focus and in doing so has helped preserve life on our planet. Thanks Paul for your efforts.
08:03 May 20, 2012 by Englishted
With no border controls how exactly would they stop him leaving the country?

Or are the judges in German as out of touch as judges seem to be everywhere?
17:11 May 20, 2012 by maxbrando
By "rough justice" I mean that these fools think nothing of trashing other people's property and believe they are entitled to do so (and be admired for it by some fools who have commented here) just because their motives are so-called more pure than theirs. Costa Rica because that is where they were trashing others boats in Costa Rican waters.
21:33 May 20, 2012 by hanskarl
I would say that Paul Watson is quite erudite. There was a documentary about him some years back and it is quite clear that if you do not agree with him he has no cause to suffer with your concerns about his tactics and philosophy but rather to brush you aside and move on with his philosophy of living; therefore , the movie comment.

As far as his actions are concerned one must remember that Paul left Greenpeace considering this group to be to non reactionary in their tactics. He wanted to take their philosophy to the next level. Watching the program it is sometimes laughable the way some of his followers react. We as human are much more than just a species.

I am all for stewardship of our natural resources. This was not the point in the article. Over reacting to ones sense of fairness (which in itself is unreal) for animal life which led to the charges is the point, Causing criminal damage to property and/or the intent to cause bodily injury outside of ones personal defense of ones life are cause for arrest in most civil societies.
08:05 May 21, 2012 by Herr Ed
Watson is a terrorist and Sea Shepherd should be listed as a terrorist organization. Whether you agree with it or not, the shark fishermen were doing nothing illegal, yet he feels justified in attacking them. Sounds like the Taliban attacking girls in Afghanistan because they don't think that women should attend school or be educated.
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