Anti-whaler issues arrest challenge

Peter Alford; 1/5/10

Anti-whaling activist and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society leader Paul Watson has challenged the Australian government to say whether it will comply with a Japanese warrant for his arrest. “If I go back and the Australians want to arrest me and put me into an extradition trial for the Japanese, then we’ll see what happens,” he said from New York. Mr Watson was unconcerned about a Japan Coast Guard request for him to be put on an Interpol wanted list: “Interpol does not act on politically motivated charges.” But he said Australian and New Zealand authorities also had responsibility to interview the skipper of the whaling patrol boat Shonan Maru 2 about a Southern Ocean collision in January that resulted in the destruction of Sea Shepherd’s power boat. Although Ady Gil was a New Zealand-registered vessel, Mr Watson claimed the Japanese had refused to make the skipper available to foreign investigators.