Tom Hayden / Tom Hayden.com – 2012-08-12 23:57:33
(August 10, 2012) — Lockhart “Locky” MacLean.Paul Watson, founder of Sea Shepherd and longtime crusader against Japan’s whaling industry, may surface in the next week after he has explored options for the safest haven from extradition charges he believes will lead to imprisonment in Japan.
This view of Watson’s status was suggested to the Peace and Justice Resource Center by Sea Shepherd captain Lockhart “Locky” MacLean last night in a discussion in Vancouver Harbor.
Watson, 61, skipped bail and went missing July 19 in Frankfurt, and is the target of an Interpol global alert. He was arrested in Frankfurt in May, and was out on bail pending a German decision on an extradition request from Costa Rica, where Watson faces decade-old charges from a Sea Shepherd disruption of illegal shark-finning activity.
Watson and Sea Shepherd suspected that Japan was behind the decade-old Costa Rican request. As evidence, he says German insiders alerted him on July 22 that Germany authorities were about to sign off on an extradition request by Japan.
Under customary extradition law, an individual can be sent only to the requesting country (Costa Rica), and not transferred to a third country (Japan). That would explain Japan’s negotiations with Germany, which would bypass the potential trial in Costa Rica.
Watson believed he could win the case in Costa Rica, but never in Japan where he is virtually demonized as a foe of the whaling fleet. The International Whaling Commission bans commercial whaling, but Japan exploits a “scientific research” exemption to continue its practices.
From hiding, Watson vows that Sea Shepherd will launch its ninth annual campaign this December to protect whales from Japanese harpoons in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
Like the extradition battle faced by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the Watson case pits the power of nation states against insurgent direct action networks and whistleblowers.
MacLean, captain of the Steve Irwin, is circulating a petition to German officials. “Germany has entertained a politically-motivated request from Costa Rica,â€ he says.
(See below for the petition to pardon Paul Watson.)
Article originally appeared on tomhayden.com (http://tomhayden.com/).
Germany: Pardon Paul Watson and drop all charges and extradition requests NOW
Target: German Ministry of Justice
Sponsored by: Lockhart Maclean
Paul Watson has been the target of a corrupt and concerted effort by Japan and Costa Rica, to have him extradited to Japan, given and unfair and politically motivated trial and locked away forever.
People should sign this petition, and voice their concern to the German Minister of Justice, to drop the warrant for Paul Watson’s arrest and pardon him for not fulfilling the conditions of his bail, on the basis that there was no way he was going to be fairly tried by either Japan or Costa Rica.
Germany should by now realize how politically motivated this whole affair has been since day 1 of the 70 plus days Paul was detained in Germany.