For 2 years now, Watson has been blaming me for his increasing legal problems. He has labelled me a rat, a turncoat and a traitor, and after each post he makes, I get a new torrent of vicious emails, messages and posts from angry Sea Shepherd supporters who believe Watson’s misleading claims. After Watson’s latest rant last Monday, I’ve decided to post this to answer his nonsense.
His main allegation is that I lied in court, and this has resulted in his current predicament, however this is simply not the case. The Japanese arrest warrant reveals that they have just cleverly used, amongst other things, my convictions as evidence of illegal activity by Watson, given he is the Captain of the Steve Irwin, and the head of Sea Shepherd.
I was convicted of 5 offences in Japan, including disruption of business, destruction of property and illegal boarding of a vessel. The Japanese case against Watson hinges on the fact that I was convicted of illegal activity, and with Paul Watson being in charge, he is complicit in these crimes.
For example, in the arrest papers, the following is asserted against Watson
1) He planned on interrupting the Whaling and Research Project in Antarctica…
2) He conspired with Pete Bethune and other persons to commit illegal activities…
3) He allowed Pete Bethune et. al., and without justifiable reason, to shoot a glass bottle of butyric acid towards the motorship Shonan Maru #2…
4) He conspired with Pete Bethune et al., and without justifiable reason, to cut a safety net…
5) He conspired with Pete Bethune et al., and without justifiable reason, to board the motorship Shonan Maru #2…
They are saying Watson planned, conspired or allowed certain activities to take place. In a court of law, the allegations may seem reasonable.
Did Watson plan on interrupting Japanese Whaling? Well of course he did – That was his intention as he readily boasts in multiple forums. Did he allow the shooting of butyric acid onto Whaling vessels? Well anyone who has seen Whale Wars can be the Judge of that.
Some of it could be debated in court of course. I’d argue for example that we had every reason to board the Shonan Maru #2. They had rammed the Ady Gil, endangering the lives of my crew. The problem for Watson however is the allegations could be considered reasonable in Japan, where whaling is considered a legal activity. They are simply saying Watson planned, conspired or allowed certain activities to take place.
I have long since grown tired of Watson’s incessant whining that I have caused all his problems with my so-called lies, given his involvement in the boarding and other activities I carried out in Antarctica. Watson and Sea Shepherd asked for volunteers to board the Japanese security vessel for example, they then facilitated the mission, and benefitted hugely from the media, exposure and donations that resulted. That the Japanese would seek to go further up the foodchain from me was always a possibility. But it seems Watson and his legal team never considered this.
Watson is in a difficult situation, in a large part because he heads an organisation that has pissed off the Japanese for many years now. My convictions are simply an easy way for the Japanese to now target Watson, but that is not my fault. I simply carried out the missions with permission from Watson and others, and then I followed the instructions of Sea Shepherd lawyers, while in Japan. They instructed me to confess to four of the five charges, which is what I did. That some of my evidence, and my convictions, be used against Watson looking back is perhaps not unsurprising. Just as it is unsurprising that the Japanese are also using video and online material, some of it supplied by Sea Shepherd, in building their case that has now seen an arrest warrant for Watson issued.
I was prepared for the consequences in Japan. I spent over 5 months locked up, most of it in a maximum security prison, and it has affected me in many ways, not all of them good. I accept this, as I believe my incarceration was good for the anti whaling movement, and it has contributed to raising awareness about whaling. What I wasn’t prepared for is the baseless allegations levelled against me since then by Watson. To be attacked incessantly by the very man I sacrificed so much for is galling indeed.
I would ask that Watson stops blaming me for his problems, and instead concentrates on stopping the whalers in Antarctica, or on mounting a vigorous legal defence in Japan, Costa Rica, Germany, or wherever his battles take him.
I have no ambition to see Watson locked up. However if he does end up in remand in Japan or elsewhere, he is welcome to subpoena me to give evidence if he believes it will help his case.