Fugitive Whale Wars star's brother battling Stage 4 cancer; hopes Paul Watson makes it to London soon
London Community News
By Paul Everest/London Community News/Twitter: @PaulEverest1
Paul Watson, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society founder, Whale Wars star and fugitive, has good reason to come back to Canada and visit London.
His brother Stephen, who lives in the east part of the city, was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer and he hopes to see Paul as soon as possible.
“Paul promised he’d come visit soon,” Stephen said.
Although Stephen kept in daily contact with Paul, who was arrested in Germany in May on a 10-year-old warrant from Costa Rica, via email up until Sunday (July 22), he has not heard from his brother since that day.
“Nobody knows where he is, including me, but I know he’s safe,” Stephen said. “We’ve received assurances from Sea Shepherd that he’s safe.”
On Wednesday (July 25), Sea Shepherd announced on its website that Paul, who was out on bail in Germany and was facing extradition to Costa Rica, had fled Germany and is currently in an “undisclosed location.”
Paul is wanted in Costa Rica for allegedly putting a ship’s crew in danger during a confrontation at sea in 2002 off the west coast of Central America while attempting to stop shark fin poachers.
According to the society’s website, Paul’s attorney reported he left Germany over fears that if he were extradited, the Japanese government may have sought to have him brought to Japan to answer charges related to obstructing whaling activities in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary.
On Thursday (July 26), the society reported that Paul’s lawyer in Germany, Oliver Wallasch, had “confirmed the Japanese Embassy submitted a request to the German Foreign Office to extradite Watson to Japan.”
“I received confirmation today from Germany’s General Public Prosecutor that Japan filed an extradition request against Paul Watson on July 19th,” Wallasch said on the society’s website.
Stephen, who learned in the past few weeks he has tumours in his brain, lungs and leg and begins treatment for his cancer next week, said his sister had been pushing the German government to release Paul on “compassionate grounds” so that he could visit his ill brother.
He added that since an arrest warrant issued for Paul only applies within Germany’s borders, and since it is possible to travel within most of Europe without a passport, it’s likely Paul is still on that continent.
Paul’s family, friends and supporters believe any possible extradition discussions between Germany and Japan comes down to politics, Stephen said, since Germany is helping Japan rebuild after last year’s devastating earthquake and tsunami.
And even though Paul “has never run from anything from his life” and some people might question why he jumped bail when supporters put up $250,000 to get him out of jail, Stephen said everyone understands that if Paul were to go to Japan, his life would be in danger.
“If he goes to Japan, we’ll never see him again,” he said. “Paul has cost the Japanese hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars by interrupting whaling efforts in the Antarctic.”
He added the family is eagerly awaiting word from Paul to learn if and when he’ll be able to return to Canada.
Watson had been scheduled to speak at two London events last month but had to cancel due to his detainment in Germany.
Requests to the German government about the nature of the arrest warrant against Paul went unanswered.