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Brown backs Sea Shepherd legal challenge

Media Release
Bob Brown 21 Mar 2010

Australia must act to ensure Japanese whalers are prosecuted for actions in the Southern Ocean said Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown today following the launch of an international legal challenge by Sea Shepherd.Lawyers acting for Sea Shepherd captain Paul Watson have made an official complaint to the Australian Federal Police calling for the prosecution of the captain of the Shonan Maru 2 which rammed and sunk the Sea Shepherd boat the Ady Gil.

Under Australian law, the Shonan Maru 2 captain could be tried in Australia and face life imprisonment for his actions.

Senator Brown also called on the New Zealand Government to defend Ady Gil captain and NZ-citizen Pete Bethune who is in custody in Japan.

"The deplorable actions of Japanese whalers in the Southern Ocean are set to be proven to be illegal under a range of Australian, New Zealand and international laws," said Senator Brown.

"The captain of the Japanese whaler that rammed the Ady Gil, endangering six lives in the process, should be prosecuted in Australia and face the appropriate sentence.

"Captain Pete Bethune is currently in custody in Japan, after he boarded the Shonan Maru 2 and performed a citizen's arrest on the vessel's captain.

"But under international sea law and related New Zealand laws it is the Japanese whalers who should be in prison.

"Prime Minister Kevin Rudd cannot wait until after the federal election to take action on this urgent issue."

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