More than a week after fleeing Germany, Paul Watson has finally opened up on the circumstances surrounding his dramatic decision to leave the country.
The Sea Shepherd founder sent a message to Sea Shepherd HQ this past weekend, telling supporters that he’s in a comfortable, safe place “far away from the scheming nations who have turned a blind eye to the exploitation of our oceans.”
As Sea Shepherd mentioned in a previous release, the main impetus for Watson’s decision to forfeit the terms of his bail and leave Germany was a move by Japan seeking his extradition.
“In December, the President of Costa Rica met with the Prime Minister of Japan. I had attended the Hamburg Film Festival in November 2011 without being arrested in Germany. In March I traveled to Spain and France without incident. Yet in May of 2012, I was arrested in Germany on an extradition warrant from Costa Rica. And what I found was that Costa Rica, like Japan, had issued an Interpol notice and Interpol at the end had dismissed the request.
“Germany however, a country without an extradition treaty with Costa Rica or Japan, decided to apprehend me on what they described was a bilateral agreement with Costa Rica. This, of course, caught Japan’s attention and they began negotiations to apply directly to Germany with a request for my extradition. That request by Japan was approved by Germany on July 23rd, 2012. I was alerted to this by reliable sources on July 22nd.”
Watson goes on to say that had he been extradited to Japan, he’s certain he would never be released.
“I am very disappointed with the German government,” he writes. “For me it is obvious that the German government conspired with Japan and Costa Rica to detain me so that I could be handed over to the Japanese. For me it is clear that they made the political decision to turn me over to the Japanese even before a court decision was made. All the German people that I have met were supportive of the work I do. I did not meet a single critic in the streets, in the courts, in the media or at any of the events and presentations that I attended. Even the police and members of the court were supportive.”
If indeed Japan, Germany, and Costa Rica conspired together to apprehend Watson, it’s proof that his actions are certainly pissing off the right people. Lucky for SSCS supporters, it appears they have help in high places.
As for where Watson is exactly, my guess would be on a boat in international waters. Events like this only harden his resolve to keep fighting for marine life around the world – and he makes a point to say that Sea Shepherd will once again interfere with Japan’s Southern Ocean whale hunt.
“ I can serve my clients better at sea than in a Japanese prison cell and I intend to do just that. In December, our ships will sail forth for the ninth campaign to oppose the outlaw Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. The campaign will be called Operation Zero Tolerance and we will risk our ships and our selves yet again in the effort required to stop these pelagic bandits in their remorseless slaughter of the gentle giants of the seas.”
You can read the full message from Watson over on the Sea Shepherd site here.