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Interpol alert issued for Sea Shepherd's Captain Paul Watson

Watson, a known marine conservationist, is wanted by Costa Rican authorities over an alleged incident ten years ago.

Image: Markus Schreiber/AP/Press Association Images

INTERPOL HAS ISSUED a Red Notice for Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson in connection with an arrest warrant issued by Costa Rica.

Watson is wanted in Costa Rica for prosecution in relation to a charge of causing a danger of drowning or of an air disaster relating to an April 2002 incident which centred on shark finning.

The Interpol notice follows Watson’s breach of bail conditions set out by a German court after his arrest there in May on foot of the Costa Rican warrant. He was released on €250,000 bail but skipped bail late last month and left the country.

“Following confirmation from German authorities that Paul Watson had failed to satisfy the bail conditions established by the German courts and had fled the country, Costa Rican authorities renewed their request to the Interpol General Secretariat headquarters to issue a Red Notice seeking his detention or arrest with a view to extradition,” the Red Notice reads.

“Based on Mr Watson’s failure to satisfy the bail conditions set by the German court, and the additional information provided by Costa Rica concerning the underlying charges, it was concluded that a Red Notice could be issued in compliance with Interpol’s Constitution and rules.”

Watson, who also co-founded Greenpeace, is known for his efforts to promote marine conservation and to prevent whaling and shark finning.

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In a statement released in response to the Interpol notice, Sea Shepherd described the Costa Rican charges as “bogus” and “politically motivated”, but “not unexpected”.

“Today’s elevation of the attack against our organisation and our founder, Captain Watson, is not unexpected,” Sea Shepherd’s administrative director Susan Hartland said yesterday.

“Costa Rica has been acting as a puppet for Japan throughout this case and we expect that to continue. Japan is driving this effort in retaliation for our successful campaigns to stop them from whaling in the Southern ocean Whale Sanctuary. We’ve cost them millions of dollars and exposed their shame to the world because of their refusal to stop the slaughter of whales in an established sanctuary under the lie and loophole of ‘research’.”

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