Paul Watson Accuses Costa Rica of Inventing Charges

The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – The founder of the environmental group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Paul Watson says that Costa Rica accused him of a crime that does not exist and for being a “servant” of Japan, which wants to extradite the fugitive activist.

The Canadian Paul Watson, 62, was charged in Costa Rica for compromising a Costa Rican shark fishing boat and its crew in 2002.

In a telephone interview broadcast Wednesday on the local Rainforest Radio, Watson said his lawyers told him that crime does not exist in the country.

“Costa Rica is being a servant of Japan in this case,” Watson said, adding that he suspects that the government wants to arrest him and hand him over to the Asian nation in exchange for economic aid.

Watson and his group have clashed several times with Japanese fishing fleets they accuse of illegally hunting whales, sharks and other marine species in danger of extinction, which made Japan classified to Sea Shepherd as a terrorist group.

Watson has achieved fame for its attempts to stop the Japanese whalers in the TV show “Whale Wars,” Animal Planet channel.

The organization discovered and reported that an illegal operation of shark finning undertaken by the Varadero, the Costa Rican ship, and told the crew to stop and headed to port to be processed by the authorities. The Sea Shepherd crew is accused of trying to ram the boat.

Watson has fled from authorities in three countries since May 2012, when he was arrested in Germany on an extradition warrant from Costa Rica. The Canadian skipped bail after learning that Japan also sought to extradite him from Germany.

The activist, who left Greenpeace in 1977 to create Sea Shepherd, which is more action-oriented, also criticized the government of Costa Rica for failing to protect an ecologist who was recently murdered while trying to protect the leatherback turtle on the coast country’s Caribbean.

The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
San Jose Costa Rica