Greens defend whale activist


The prospect of a 15-year jail term facing anti-whaling activist Pete Bethune was unjust, Greens leader Bob Brown said yesterday. The New Zealander, in custody in Tokyo after illegally boarding a Japanese whaling vessel, the Shonan Maru No 2, was initially charged with trespass after his arrest last month. But the Japan Coast Guard has laid four more charges of assault, illegal possession of a knife, destruction of property and obstruction of business. Senator Brown said the Japanese whalers should be facing charges under Australian law for endangering lives. “It is absolutely unjust that Captain Pete Bethune is facing up to 15 years in prison in Japan,” he said. The Greens leader said the Australian Federal Police were investigating an official complaint by the Sea Shepherd group over the ramming and sinking of the Ady Gil.