Anti-whaling activist Pete Bethune held on Japanese ship
"He will just love the Japanese Slammer !":eek:
A protester boarded a Japanese whaling vessel under the cover of darkness yesterday and attempted to stage a citizen’s arrest of the skipper. The Japanese said they may press charges against the activist, who remains in custody on the ship.Pete Bethune, from New Zealand, boarded the Shoran Maru 2 from a jet ski at about 6am on Monday (7pm Sunday GMT) in Antarctic waters south of Heard Island.
He had planned to hand over a bill for $3 million (£2 million), the cost of replacing the Ady Gil, a ship he captained that was destroyed in a collision with the Japanese ship last month. He also wanted to make a citizen’s arrest of the captain of the Shoran Maru 2 for destroying the Ady Gil and the attempted murder of six crew members
Instead, Japan may now arrest and charge Captain Bethune, in the latest of a number of increasingly heated confrontations between the whalers and the militant Sea Shepherd activists who have harassed them for weeks in international waters.Both sides have blasted each other with icy jets from high-pressure water cannon, and activists have also hurled stink bombs at the whalers.
Hirotaka Akamatsu, the Japanese Fisheries Minister, vowed to be tough with the activist, who has not been heard from since he boarded the whaling ship."As it is outrageously illegal behaviour, we want to deal with it strictly," Mr Akamatsu said.The Government has not yet made an official decision about whether to seek criminal charges against Captain Bethune. However, the country’s fisheries agency, which runs the annual whaling expeditions, reportedly wants to hand him over to the Coastguard.
Japan's Institute of Cetacean Research, which sponsors the whale hunt, called Captain Bethune's actions “a form of piracy” and claimed the activist used a knife to cut the vessel's protective net to enable him to climb aboard. The crew treated him for a cut on his thumb he received while boarding, the institute said.
“It's a crime under maritime law to board another country's flagged vessel on the high seas illegally,” Glenn Inwood, a spokesman for the institute, told Australian radio. “If he is taken back to Japan, it would be my personal view that ... he should face charges in Japan.”