An analysis of the news

Paul Watson

There were demonstrations supporting conservationist Paul Watson in Paris and Berlin Wednesday as his Sea Shepherd
Conservation Society promised.

Watson was present in Berlin. The event took place just several blocks where Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla was meeting with German officials. There was no indication that she met with Watson or associates.

There are indications that Watson will attempt to use the conciliation aspects of Costa Rican law to avoid jail. The law allows anyone who is a suspect in a crime to pay off accusers. Recently a Canadian motorist who had been extradited from the United States ducked a criminal charge when he paid off the family of the highway worker he hit and killed.

Another well-publicized case is that of Luis Milanes, the operator of the defunct Savings Unlimited that collapsed in 2002 with about $200 million of investors money. He has struck a deal with those bringing allegations against him that involves surrendering property, including a downtown hotel

His creditors have agreed that the criminal case be terminated.

Watson faces allegations stemming from the 2002 run-in with a Costa Rican fishing boat in Guatemalan waters. The fishing boat and Watson’s much larger “Ocean Warrior” bumped together, and Costa Rican prosecutors have brought allegations of interfering with sea traffic. The fishing boat crew claims injuries and damage to the vessel.

Watson has been in contact with Costa Rican foreign ministry officials. Earlier he expressed the fear that the so-called shark finning mafia would attempt to have him killed when he went to prison here. Watson has fought vigorously against shark finning and the Japanese practice of hunting whales.

If he can strike a deal long-distance, he would be able to spend little or no time in jail if he returned to Costa Rica. Milanes spent just a night in judicial facilities.

Sea Shepherd has been trying to raise money to support a fight against extradition in Germany. The demonstrations Wednesday basically sought to have Germany void Costa Rica’s request for extradition. That is legally possible in the country’s justice ministry.

For an unknown reason the usually active Sea ShepherdWeb site made no mention late Wednesday of the demonstrations in Europe.

This entry was posted in Costa Rica News. Bookmark the permalink.