Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson leaves Germany; destination unknown

The Canadian Press
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Paul Watson. — Canadian Press/Associated Press file photo

TORONTO — The Sea Shepherd Society environmental group confirms its founder, Paul Watson, has left Germany and is now in an undisclosed location.

The confirmation, posted by Sea Shepherd executive Susan Hartland on the group’s website, comes hours after a German court issued an arrest warranty for Watson alleging he skipped bail.

Watson was arrested May 13 at Frankfurt Airport on a Costa Rican warrant that claimed he had endangered the crew of a fishing vessel a decade ago.

Watson was released days later on a $320,000 bond and ordered to report regularly to authorities while Costa Rica’s extradition request was considered.

The Sea Shepherd Society maintains Watson’s arrest was politically motivated.

Hartland says the group has ”reason to believe from a reliable source” that once in Costa Rica, Japan may try to extradite Watson to Japan to answer charges related to obstructing their whaling activities.

Hartland adds that the group has no further information and is not in touch with Watson.

Sea Shepherd says Watson was filming a documentary at the time of the alleged incident in Guatemalan waters in 2002.

The group says it encountered an illegal shark finning operation run by a Costa Rican ship and told the crew to stop and head to port to be prosecuted.

The crew accused Sea Shepherd of trying to kill them by ramming their ship.

Watson parted ways with Greenpeace in 1977 to set up the Sea Shepherd.

The group has waged aggressive campaigns to protect marine animals, prompting Japan to labels its members terrorists and to seek Watson’s arrest for allegedly masterminding violent protests.

Organizations: Sea Shepherd Society, Frankfurt Airport, Greenpeace

Geographic location: Germany, Japan, Costa Rica TORONTO

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Recent comments

  • Coyote Caporgno
    July 28, 2012 - 12:15

    you guys are funny, let me adress some of your comments.... "no body cares about watson and his stupid whales. they care about real issues like the economy and surviving" whaling is a "real" issue. if the wahles go extinct. we face eco-collapse. and when eco-collapse happens, we die. "Watson is gone into hiding like the gutless and scared rat that he really is. Once he gets arrested again or the countries that are looking fo him find him, put him away for the rest of his life. Then his supporters will know where he is and can go visit him instead of saying they do not know where he is. Also, the next time he and his organization cause any problems at sea, like ramming other vessels and jeopardizing the lives of others, sink the sea shepard (ha, what a joke of a name for a boat) instead of putting a couple of shells across the bow. We do not need the likes of watson and his group of gutless followers & supporters in our world" lol i don't know where to start...first of all the name of the organisation is "Sea shephard" not the ship. YES we DO need people like watson in the world. who else will not be blind and ignorent to the issues in nature? the whalers, shark-finners and seal killers shouldn't be doing this in the first place. so if they get hurt. then it's there own fault. frank and S. you guys understand.

  • joe
    July 27, 2012 - 21:23

    nobody cares about watson or his stupid whales. They care about real issues like the economy and surviving.

  • Arest More
    July 26, 2012 - 14:48

    Now arest the top oficials of the Sea Sheppard society for harbouring an eco-terorrist fugative from justice.

  • Derek
    July 26, 2012 - 12:50

    I think Frank has missed the point that under law in most democracies you have the presumption of innocence, but with that comes the responsibility to answer the accusations placed against you. To run from the courts and hide is indeed gutless and cowardly. Mr. Watson is not above the law, and doesn't have the right to flaunt it. He is no different from any of us.

  • Vulcan's Forge
    July 26, 2012 - 11:30

    Interesting. Watson is now a fugitive from German law - which among other things means that if he is caught in Canadian waters he can be arrested and extradited to Germany. It may also mean he is listed on the "no fly list" - which means he cannot fly as a registered passenger on any aircraft entering Canadian or US airspace.

  • Chantal
    July 26, 2012 - 10:05

    Why is this worthy of mention in a St. John's paper? Slow news day?

  • Edmund
    July 26, 2012 - 09:09

    Watson is gone into hiding like the gutless and scared rat that he really is. Once he gets arrested again or the countries that are looking fo him find him, put him away for the rest of his life. Then his supporters will know where he is and can go visit him instead of saying they do not know where he is. Also, the next time he and his organization cause any problems at sea, like ramming other vessels and jeopardizing the lives of others, sink the sea shepard (ha, what a joke of a name for a boat) instead of putting a couple of shells across the bow. We do not need the likes of watson and his group of gutless followers & supporters in our world.

    • frank
      July 26, 2012 - 10:50

      Yeah, Watson is the gutless and scared one taking on vessels doing illegal activities in the open sea while the internet blogosphere criticizes from the anonymity of their computer screen. This man is anything but gutless and scared. He could be criticizing nations like Japan from the comfort of his home. Instead, he takes them on in the open sea where anything can happen. This is of course all political and to call him a terrorist is absolute nonsense and rhetoric. We need more people like Paul Watson in the world fighting to protect endangered animals.

    • S.
      July 26, 2012 - 13:32

      I agree with Frank! Edmund, this is 2012. People are now beginning to care for the earth and its animals. Watson represents these people well, and is anything but a gutless and scared rat...

  • Gerard Morry
    July 26, 2012 - 08:05

    Who cares!!!!