He may be back on land after 15 months on the high seas, trying to evade a warrant issued for him, but Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson said he might not be able to join his eco-activist compatriots this December as they continue the fight against whaling. Instead, he will be focusing on facing his legal battles in the United States as he defends himself from charges of piracy brought by Japanese whalers.
The controversial 62-year-old Canadian will take the stand in a Seattle courtroom on Wednesday but he doesn’t expect the judge to allow him to join any of the annual anti-whaling activities against the Japanese fleet in the next few months. “I don’t believe that the injunction will be lifted, so I don’t plan on going on the campaign,” he said. Japan filed an injunction against him and the Oregon-based Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS), preventing them from approaching any of the vessels that conduct whaling activities in the Antarctica. But Watson is confident that Sea Shepherd Australia, who are leaving for the seas by December 1, are more than capable of disturbing the Japanese whalers.
When Japan found out that Watson was back on American soil, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said that they are still requesting a warrant of arrest for him through Interpol. He was not stopped by immigration officials when he entered the country last week but he knows it’s always a possibility. “They can try, but the US government is well aware of where I am. If there’s any reason to deal with it (being arrested) we’ll deal with it. I’m not going to make myself unavailable,” he said. He also added he believes that Japan is only pushing through with the legal action in order to drain the finances of the non-profit eco-activist group so they will be forced to stop their activities. But he says it will not work for this campaign since their Australian arm will take charge this campaign.
[ via Global Post ]