Anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd deliberately sank its own high-tech protest boat to gain sympathy after a January collision with a Japanese whaling ship, the former skipper of the boat said Thursday in a public spat with the conservation group’s founder.New Zealand anti-whaling activist Peter Bethune said the protest boat Ady Gil was salvageable after the collision, but he was ordered by Sea Shepherd head Paul Watson to scuttle it."Paul Watson was my admiral," he said on New Zealand radio. "He gave me an order and I carried it out."Sea Shepherd denied Watson issued such an order, and said it had been unable to tow the boat and stop it from sinking.
Peter Bethune final told his side of the story after being incarcerated in Japan. He had not so kind words for Japan and even less for his home country of New Zealand. He’s a man though that sees injustice for what he believes in and isn’t afraid of the politics. It’s something that human spirit will not fail to recognize or to hear when he speaks.
An antiwhaling activist from New Zealand who allegedly obstructed the activities of the Japanese whaling fleet in the Antarctic Ocean pleaded guilty to most of the charges against him when his trial began Thursday at the Tokyo District Court. The trial of Peter Bethune, 45, former captain of the antiwhaling vessel Ady Gil of the U.S.-based Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which has run a campaign to disrupt Japan’s “research whaling” activities, is being closely watched, as it is the first time a member of the group has appeared in a Japanese court.
An anti-whaling activist from New Zealand is in custody on a Japanese vessel and will be taken to Japan to face charges after secretly boarding the ship as part of a protest, officials said Tuesday.
Peter Bethune, a member of the U.S.-based Sea Shepherd activist group, jumped aboard the Shonan Maru 2 from a Jet Ski on Monday with the stated goal of making a citizen’s arrest of the ship’s captain and presenting him with a $3 million bill for the destruction of a protest ship last month.
The Japanese government has decided to bring Bethune to Japan for questioning, Fisheries Agency official Osamu Ishikawa said. He will be charged with trespassing and assault and tried under Japanese law, Ishikawa said.