Captain Paul Watson Arrested in Germany, Faces Possible Extradition to Costa Rica on Attempted Murder Charges
Notorious Sea Shepherd captain Paul Watson was arrested Saturday in Germany and is likely facing extradition to Costa Rica where he could be charged with attempted murder. The charges, Sea Shepherd admits, stem from an alleged incident took place in Guatemalan waters in 2002 while filming Sharkwater, a documentary film meant to expose the ugly shark-hunting/finning industry and stars Watson as he confronts shark poachers in Guatemala and Costa Rica.
According to a release by the marine wildlife conservation society, Sea Shepherd encountered an illegal shark finning operation run by a Costa Rican ship called the Varadero and order them, under authorization by the “order of the Guatemalan authorities”, to cease activities and head back to port to be prosecuted. While escorting the vessel back to port, the crew of the Varadero contacted the Guatemalan authorities and said that that the crew of Sea Shepherd actually tried to kill them. Staying true to their roots, the Guatemalan authorities quickly switched sides and dispatched a gunboat to intercept the Sea Shepherd crew. The Sea Shepherd retreated, fleeing into Costa Rican waters where they continued their assault on illegal shark finning groups.
But that’s not the end of the story. Years later in October of 2011 a warrant for his arrest was first issued in Costa Rica, which Sea Shepherd says curiously coincides with a civil suit filed against the Sea Shepherd Society in the U.S. by the Institute for Cetacean Research (ICR).
Although Sea Shepherd first said that the charges would likely be dropped, German officials on Tuesday decided to proceed with the extradition of Captain Watson to Costa Rica.
Now the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society issued an urgent plea to its followers:
Our last hope of saving Captain Watson from extradition is to convince German officials at the Ministry of Justice to step in and overturn their decision. Show your support for Captain Watson by contacting Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, the Federal Minister of Justice in Berlin, Germany. Let her know that the warrant for Captain Watson’s arrest is politically motivated and thus should be ignored by the German government. With international support we can set Captain Watson free, and keep him from the possibility of facing an unfair trial in Costa Rica.
You can find the details of how to contact Mrs. Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger HERE.
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