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2010年7月 8日 (木)

Antiwhaling activist from New Zealand gets suspended prison term

Antiwhaling activist from New Zealand gets suspended prison term
Http__mdn_mainichi_jp_mdnnews_new_3 TOKYO (AP) -- The Tokyo District Court on Wednesday sentenced an antiwhaling activist from New Zealand to two years in prison, suspended for five years, for obstructing the activities of the Japanese whaling fleet in the Antarctic Ocean.
Peter Bethune, 45, was found guilty for conspiring with other Sea Shepherd Conservation Society members and launching a glass bottle of butyric acid onto the Shonan Maru No. 2, the fleet security escort ship on Feb. 11, obstructing the fleet's business and injuring a 25-year-old crew member of the escort ship, the ruling said.
Four days later on Feb. 15, Bethune cut the escort ship's net with a knife and boarded the vessel, according to the ruling.
Bethune was given a suspended term as he had said he would not participate in antiwhaling activities in the Antarctic Ocean in the future and had paid for the damage to the net, according to the ruling.
But Presiding Judge Takashi Tawada rejected Bethune's plea of not guilty to an assault charge relating to the injury of the crew member, dismissing Bethune's claim that he had not wanted to injure anyone.
"The defendant was aware that the glass bottle launched at the ship could pose a danger to the members of the research whaling ship," the judge said.
The judge added, "The incident was part of the Sea Shepherd's continuing violent and obstructive behavior in defiance of a resolution and statements of the International Whaling Commission, which do not allow for such obstructive action."
The ruling was final as Bethune had given up his right to appeal, while the prosecutors also said they would not appeal.
Bethune was moved to an immigration facility on suspicion of illegal entry as he was not carrying his passport when he boarded the Japanese vessel and is expected to be deported soon, one of his lawyers said.
Bethune was indicted in April on five criminal counts -- trespassing, forcible obstruction of business, assault, property destruction and violation of the firearms and swords control law.
His defense had sought a suspended prison sentence, noting that he had pleaded guilty to four of the five criminal counts and had expressed deep regret for his action.
Prosecutors had sought a two-year prison term.
The Sea Shepherd effectively expelled Bethune last month, saying he took a bow and arrows aboard its vessel the Ady Gil, of which he was captain, in violation of the group's "offensive but non-violent" policy.
In New Zealand, Bethune's father Don expressed relief that the activist would be returning home soon.
"It's a terrific relief," Don Bethune told Kyodo News. "We're looking forward to Pete coming home and being part of the family again."
Earlier, Sharyn Bethune, the activist's wife, told the New Zealand Press Association that she hoped her husband would return home as early as Saturday morning.
One of the first things her husband would do when he arrives back in New Zealand is celebrate, she said.
Meanwhile, Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson said after the ruling that he thought Japan would be happy to see Bethune leave the country.
"Pete will be returning home as a national hero," Watson told Kyodo News from the United States, adding that the case had garnered much publicity and funding for the conservation group.
Watson also said the group's decision to disassociate itself from Bethune was part of a legal strategy to ensure a lenient ruling.
"We had to make it very clear that he wouldn't be participating in any future campaigns (in the Antarctic Ocean)," Watson said.
(Mainichi Japan) July 7, 2010

シー・シェパード:抗議船元船長に有罪判決 東京地裁
 2_peter_bethune 艦船侵入や傷害など5罪に問われた反捕鯨団体「シー・シェパード(SS)」の抗議船「アディ・ギル号」元船長、ピーター・ベスーン被告(45)=ニュージーランド国籍=に対し、東京地裁は7日、懲役2年、執行猶予5年(求刑・懲役2年)の有罪判決を言い渡した。多和田隆史裁判長は「主義主張のためには乗組員に危害を加えても構わないという独善的な発想に基づく行動」と批判した。
 「判決を妻に伝えてほしい。早く家族と友達に会いたい」。判決言い渡し中、ベスーン被告は長身を後ろにのけぞらせ、弁護人にB5判のノートを開いて見せた。英語で伝言が走り書きされていた。 判決前には「どんな内容でも判決を受け入れる」と弁護人に伝え、言い渡しが終わると上訴権を即日放棄した。今後は妨害活動に加わらないと明言しており、帰国後は自伝をまとめる意向という。SSはベスーン被告を除名する方針を表明している
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Related articles;
2010-02-08 Whaler, activist ship again collide off Antarctica
2010-01-10 Jesus the Good Shepherd
2010-01-10 Collision between Japanese whaler, protest vessel creates waves in Japan and abroad
2010-01-09 Video of famous trimaran's collision - YACHING MONTHLY
2010-01-08 Three videos from Ady Gil collision with Whalers - POWERBOAT-WORLD
2010-01-07 A video released by Sea Shepherd
2010-01-07 Sea Shepherd vessel comes a cropper after collision with whalers


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