Japan has issued an arrest warrant for the leader of eco-terrorist group Sea Shepherd, Paul Watson, and is planning to have Interpol issue an international arrest warrant in pursuit of his extradition.
As the individual responsible for planning and ordering attacks on Japan’s “scientific” whaling operations, the Japanese Coast Guard has issued an arrest warrant for the group’s leader 59-year-old Canadian leader, consisting of a variety of charges including assault and interference with official duties.
They plan to issue an international arrest warrant through Interpol, which could lead to his extradition to Japan.
Meanwhile the captain of the Ady Gil, Peter Bethune, is already in police custody in Japan after boarding a whaling vessel and has been charged with 5 counts of assault.
Barring political interference, conviction seems likely and jail possible.
Bethune apparently admitted to police that he had planned the attacks with the group’s leader, giving police much of the evidence they needed to press charges. Video evidence of Watson being present at the scene of the crimes also exists.
Japanese police generally do not press charges until they are sure of a conviction, so whether Sea Shepherd’s leader ends up languishing in a Japanese jail may now only depend on how willing other countries are to honour any extradition request.
At the very least, as a wanted fugitive he may need to be very careful about his future travel arrangements.