Andy Gil captain boards whaling boat with $3m bill for cost of replacing ship

Joe Kelly; 15//2/10; (2 Items)

Japan’s Institute of Cetacean Research has slammed the boarding of whaling vessel Shonan Maru 2 by a Sea Shepherd protester as illegal and labelled his demands as fanciful. Captain Pete Bethune of the Sea Shepherd ship Ady Gil, which sank after a collision with the Shonan Maru 2 on January 6, boarded the Japanese vessel this morning about 6:30am Perth time. Captain Bethune snuck onto the boat unnoticed to make a citizen’s arrest of the vessel’s skipper for “the destruction of the Ady Gil” and to present him with the $US3 million bill for the cost of replacing the ship. But Glenn Inwood, spokesman for the ICR, said it was “illegal to board another flag vessel at sea.” “No decision has been made on what is to occur, but at the moment Pete Bethune will have to remain on board,” Mr Inwood told The Australian.

See: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/health-science/ady-gil-captain-boards-whaling-boat-with-3m-bill-for-cost-of-replacing-ship/story-e6frg8y6-1225830591639; Activist boards Japanese whaler and demands $3.4m for sunken boat; Andrew Darby; 16/2/10; http://www.theage.com.au/national/activist-boards-japanese-whaler-and-demands-34m-for-sunken-boat-20100215-o2wt.html; Whale activists face court; 16/2/10; http://www.theage.com.au/world/whale-activists-face-court-20100215-o2u6.html

Anti-whalers face jail
Peter Alford: 16/2/10; The Australian, No Internet Text
An anti-whaling activist, facing up to 10 years’ imprisonment in Japan for theft and trespass, says he committed the alleged offences to expose embezzlement and corruption within the Japanese government-sponsored research whaling program.Greenpeace Japan’s campaigns director, Junichi Sato, and policy adviser, Toni Suzuki, yesterday pleaded not guilty in the Aomori District Court to charges of trespass and theft of 23kg of whale meat from a transport depot in April 2008.
The meat had been dispatched in a carton by a crewman from the whaling vessel Nisshin Maru, which docked in Tokyo following the northern summer whaling campaign in the Antarctic.
Greenpeace Japan claimed the carton was one of more than 90 dispatched by crew members as part of an alleged racket diverting whale meat from the program for private sale.
Whale meat harvested through Japan’s so-called scientific whaling is supposed to be sold to help fund the program.
A Tokyo district prosecutor’s investigation, initiated in May 2008 by Greenpeace’s exposure of the alleged racket, was curtailed after the whaling company, Kyodo Senpaku, said crew each received almost 10kg of whale meat as a bonus. Soon afterwards, on June 20, Mr Sato, 33, and Mr Suzuki, 42, were charged with trespass and theft. The maximum penalty for the theft is up to 10 years’ prison or a fine of no more than Y500,000 ($6225).
“This is an issue of corruption involving public authorities,” Mr Sato told the court on the opening day of the pair’s trial. Mr Sato said Greenpeace had acted to obtain evidence of the racket after receiving information from a whistleblower and “the right to gather such information to verify such information should be protected”.
“Secondly, we tried to make it known to the public that whale meat is being siphoned off illegally in the whaling program,” he said. “Our intention was to expose the embezzlement scandal in the whaling industry.”