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Sea Shepherd captain Paul Watson detained by German court


Paul Watson, Canadian founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a direct action group for marine conservation. He has been arrested in Germany on a warrant issued by Costa Rica in 2002.


Gerard Julien

The founder of the Sea Shepherd direct action conservation group Paul Watson has been remanded in custody in Germany while a request for his extradition to Costa Rica is considered.

Speaking after his appearance in court on Monday, Canadian Press quotes his lawyer Oliver Wallasch as saying that Watson was "shocked" by the court ruling.   He posted on Twitter that Watson "might have to stay one more night until we clear this up..."

More from GlobalPost: Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson arrested in Germany

Watson, who was born in Canada and has US-citizenship, was arrested at Frankfurt airport on Sunday.  The ABC says police were acting on a warrant issued by Costa Rica that accuses him of endangering a fishing boat during an operation in 2002 to stop an illegal shark-finning operation in Guatemalan waters.

An official from the prosecutor's office, Guenter Wittig, told the BBC that Watson was accused of using his vessel to intimidate another and of putting the crew at risk.  He added that Watson was currently in temporary custody.

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The Whale Wars Examiner says that Sea Shepherd operatives in Europe and Latin American "continue to work around the clock" on the case.

Watson will remain in custody until at least Wednesday, pending a further court decision, Reuters reports.

In a detailed profile on Watson, AFP explains that the not-for-profit Sea Shepherd "prides itself on 'innovative direct-action tactics' to confront so-called 'illegal' activity on the high seas -- including the use of acoustic weapons, water cannon and stink bombs against whalers."  It adds that the group has also pursued seal hunters and mounted campaigns for sharks and dolphins.