07/26/2012: "Watson Skips Bails Over Japan & Costa Rica Extradition Requests"
(Stop Shark Finning screen capture photo)
San Juan Island Resident -and Canadian citizen- Paul Watson, famous as the founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and for the TV show Whale Wars, has skipped out on a bail in Germany over fears of extradition on old charges by Costa Rica & Japan.
The original charge that led to his arrest in Germany came after Costa Rica requested Germany arrest and extradite Watson to Costa Rica on a ten year old charge from, Guatemala, related to a “citizen’s arrest” over a Shark Finning operation Watson had witnessed in Guatemala.
Watson’s boat had intercepted a shark finning boat and , depending on who is reporting it, ordered it to proceed to port so the crew could be charged for shark finning, or rammed the boat and started tow it into port.
In either case, it is reported the boat called for help, claiming Watson had rammed their boat, and Guatemala sent out a gun boat to arrest Watson and his crew.
Watson fled to Costa Rica, where he was charged by Costa Rica on an attempted murder charge in the Guatemala case. but Watson once again took off.
Ten years later while Watson is out on bail in Germany over the Costa Rica charge related to the Guatemalan charge, Japan issued an extradition request to Germany over a 2010 charge that Watson had endangered Japan’s whale watching fleet in the South Pacific by attempting to block boats pursuing and killing whales.
Watson is said to have followed the conditions of his bail in Germany until Japan sent in their extradition request. This may have been too much for Watson, who reportedly had been in fear for his life if sent to back to Costa Rica.