A German court Wednesday called for the extradition to Costa Rica of Paul Watson, the founder of marine conservation group Sea Shepherd, as he had skipped bail and apparently left the country.
The higher regional court in Frankfurt said Watson’s lawyer had informed it that he had left Germany “for an unspecified destination” and that they had therefore decided to resume extradition proceedings against him.
Earlier this year, Costa Rica filed an extradition request on charges stemming from a high-seas confrontation over shark finning in 2002.
Watson, a Canadian national who leads the Sea Shepherd organisation noted for its muscular attacks on Japanese whalers, is accused of “putting a ship’s crew in danger”.
The 61-year-old, whom Sea Shepherd members affectionately call “the captain” — and who looks the part with a thick shock of white hair and beard, was arrested at Frankfurt airport in western Germany in May.
He was detained for a week before being released on bail but has not adhered to the terms of the bail since July 22, the court said.
“Since by fleeing, Watson has shown that he can not justify the trust placed in him, the extradition process has been restarted,” the court said.
In an interview with AFP after he was arrested, the activist vowed that his campaign would continue even if he were tried and jailed.
“They hope that by getting me out of the way, they’ll shut down our operations. They won’t,” Watson said.
“This is not about me. It is about our oceans and the ever-escalating threat of diminishment of the diversity of life in our seas. It is about the sharks, the whales, the seals, the sea turtles and the fish,” he said.
On a visit to Germany in May, Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla said Watson would have a fair trial if extradited to the Central American country.
‘Not appropriate at all’: GOP senator admits it was wrong to gas protesters for Trump’s photo-op
The decision to gas protesters so President Donald Trump could hold a photo-op holding a Bible were criticized by a Republican senator on Friday as cracks start to emerge in Republicans' support for the president.
"As you know, outside the White House when protesters were peacefully exercising their rights, there were rubber bullets and tear gas, they were disbursed so he could go for the pictures, the photo-op at the church," CNN's Erin Burnett reported.
She noted criticism by former General Mattis and asked Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) if he agreed.
"I would say no question the scene that I understand occurred there with the tear gas and rubber bullets was unnecessary, not appropriate at all," he replied.
GOP Senate candidate complains schools are teaching too much ‘multiculturalism’
On Friday, the Huffington Post reported that Corky Messner, a GOP businessman running for Senate in New Hampshire, complained that schools are teaching kids too much "multiculturalism" at a virtual town hall.
“We are essentially up against multiculturalism and the values that we know that are being taught in our public schools and universities that are not part of the values and beliefs that made this country great,” said Messner at the event, which took place on Wednesday and was flagged by Democratic super PAC American Bridge. “So we have a battle on our hands.”
‘A coward and a commander’: New Lincoln Project ad contrasts Trump with James Mattis
On Friday, the conservative anti-Trump group The Lincoln Project released a new attack ad against President Donald Trump — this time using the criticism of his former Defense Secretary James Mattis, and comparing and contrasting their leadership ability.
"This is the story of a coward and a commander," said the ad's narrator. "The coward Trump dodged the draft. Jim Mattis led American troops for forty years. While a frightened Trump hides from protesters in a deep bunker firing off tweets, Jim Mattis does what he's always done: Leads. While Donald Trump angrily attacks, General Mattis' words deserve to be heard by every American."