Anti-whaling leader on Interpol wanted list

2010-06-25 15:01

Interpol this week placed the head of US-based anti-whaling group

Sea Shepherd on an international wanted list at Japan’s request, authorities in

Tokyo said.

The Japanese coastguard was informed by Interpol yesterday about

the listing of Canadian Paul Watson (59) for allegedly conspiring to harass

whaling ships in Antarctic clashes in February, a coastguard spokesperson

said.

The coastguard filed the request with the French-based police

service in April as part of Japan’s long-running battle with militant

environmentalists from Watson’s Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

Kyodo News said Japan had asked Interpol to issue a so-called blue

notice, asking national police forces to provide information on Watson’s

whereabouts and activities but not a red notice requesting his arrest.

Japan hunts whales under a loophole in an international moratorium

that allows the killing of the sea mammals for scientific research but it does

not hide the fact that the meat is later sold in shops and restaurants.

Sea Shepherd has long sought to obstruct Japan’s whalers and this

year claimed its most successful season yet by preventing the harpoon ships from

killing hundreds of the ocean giants.

Japanese authorities say the activists inflicted chemical burns on

whaling crews by throwing bottles of butyric acid, which the Sea Shepherd group

describes as rancid-butter stink bombs.

Sea Shepherd’s futuristic powerboat the Ady Gil, carrying six crew,

sank after it was sliced in two in a collision with the whaling fleet’s security

ship in January.

The boat’s captain Peter Bethune later boarded a whaling ship and

was detained. He is now on trial in Tokyo for trespassing, inflicting injury and

other charges.

Prosecutors have demanded two years in prison for the New

Zealander. The court is due to deliver its verdict on July 7.

 

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