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Eco-fugitive Paul Watson hiding in U.S.? (Eco news)

Eco-fugitive Paul Watson hiding in U.S.?
Edmonton Sun reported

Eco-fugitive Paul Watson has rammed one too many whaling ships, says a former Sea Shepherd skipper who's done time for his own anti-whaling activities.

"I think he's done so much of that illegal activity that it's all starting to bite him in the ass," said Pete Bethune, who has gone legit in his environmentalism, though he says he still respects Watson.

Bethune is suing the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, claiming he's owed $500,000 for a ship he sold them that was ultimately scuttled after a collision with Japanese whalers in 2010.

Authorities are searching for Watson, the Canadian founder of the society, after he skipped bail in Germany last week, following his arrest at Costa Rica's request over a violent 2002 confrontation with shark hunters.

Watson has said he decided to give up a $307,000 bond when "sympathetic sources" told him there was a deal to extradite him to Japan, where he'd likely end up in maximum security prison for a long time.

Bethune said the 62-year-old Watson "would go bananas" in a Japanese prison, so it doesn't surprise him the eco-fugitive ran, possibly escaping by boat to the United States

"The U.S. is a very difficult country to extradite people from," Bethune said.

Still, Bethune said Watson will also be looking to weasel out of his predicament because Sea Shepherd isn't nearly as effective without its figurehead.

With up to $10 million per year in donations, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society can throw money at keeping Watson hidden.


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