Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson can cross Germany off his “Cannot visit” list. According to him, the country has canceled the warrant for his arrest, because the Costa Rican government failed to meet the deadline for an explanation asked by the government.
Watson’s legal troubles have been well-documented by the media, including skipping bail in Germany for fear of being extradited to Japan where he fears he will never be released. The arrest warrant issued in Germany was due to Costa Rica’s accusations of interfering with their fishing vessels, which Sea Shepherd says was an illegal shark-finning operation.
But even if he no longer is wanted in Germany, he says he will remain at sea where he has been for seven months now, unless Australia assures him that he will not be sent to Japan. The Japanese government has accused Watson and Sea Shepherd of interfering with their whaling operations and their ships have been involved in skirmishes during the season, notably a collision between vessels last month. Interpol has put him on their red list, which is the closest thing to an “international arrest warrant” there is, and usually reserved for serial killers and war criminals. So Watson says unless he can get that guarantee from Australia, he has “secret arrangements” to remain at sea.
Watson says that Sea Shepherd’s anti-whaling campaign has been effectively successful this season, saying that less than 100 whales were killed. Their ships the Steve Irwin, the Bob Barker and the Sam Simon will be docking in Australia soon, but probably without Watson on board.[ via NZ City ]