Sea Shepherd founder released

THE founder of anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd was released on bail today pending a decision in Germany on whether he will be extradited to Costa Rica over a 2002 shipping incident.

Paul Watson was arrested earlier this month at Frankfurt Airport on an outstanding warrant from Costa Rica as he was due to travel to France.

He was alleged to have endangered a fishing boat and its crew 10 years ago while filming a documentary on illegal shark-finning in Guatemalan waters.

The 61-year-old Canadian was cheered by supporters as he left custody. Costa Rican authorities must decide whether to extradite him within the next three months, German news agency DPA reported.

He was released on €250,000 ($320,000) bail, but one of his bail conditions requires him to remain in Germany.

A statement released by Sea Shepherd after his arrest said that Watson had been ordered by Guatemalan authorities to intercept the Varadero vessel and escort its crew to port to be prosecuted.

The statement read, "While escorting the Varadero back to port, the tables were turned, and a Guatemalan gunboat was dispatched to intercept the Sea Shepherd crew. The crew of the Varadero accused the Sea Shepherds of trying to kill them, while the video evidence proves this to be a fallacy."

It added, "To avoid the Guatemalan gunboat, Sea Shepherd then set sail for Costa Rica, where they uncovered even more illegal shark-finning activities in the form of dried shark fins by the thousands on the roofs of industrial buildings."


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!