“Anti-Whaling Activist Paul Watson Marks a Year of Fleeing on the Sea”

July 17, 2013

motherboard.vice.com on July 16, 2013 released the following:

“By Ben Richmond

Just as Edward Snowden is caught in the in-between-nation zone of a Moscow airport, the anti-whaling activist Paul Watson is caught in a nation-free life at sea. Watson hasn’t been into a port since fleeing Germany in July last year in order to keep himself from being extradited to Japan.

Watson is the founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which fights to preserve marine life most famously by directly disrupting whaling operations. The group’s aggressive actions have earned it attention from the public, via the Animal Planet show Whale Wars, and from governments, including those of the United States, Canada, and Japan, which calls them eco-terrorists.

Last known to be aboard the Sea Shepherd ship the MY Steve Irwin when it confronted Japanese ships in the Southern Ocean in February, Watson’s exact whereabouts are currently unknown. Still, for being a refugee, Watson maintains a fairly high media profile. He regularly gives interviews about Sea Shepard’s actions and also his own tenuous situation.

Legal trouble has been a defining trait for the man who describes himself as a “pirate of compassion.” The origins of his life-on-the-lam span continents and decades. In 2002, Watson and a Sea Shepherd ship was sailing through Guatemalan waters when they came across a Costa Rican vessel that was slicing fins off of sharks.

According to Peter Hammarstedt, a spokesman for Sea Shepherd, they called the authorities and took control of the fishing ship, only to have the Guatemalans show up with a gunboat to arrest Watson. The Sea Shepherd fled to Costa Rica, where Watson was charged with “violating navigational regulations.” The charges were dropped, and then reinstated.

Ten years later, Watson was detained at an airport in Frankfurt on behalf of Costa Rica. While being detained, it occurred to Watson that the Japanese—his longtime arch nemeses—might be behind the arrest, not Costa Rica. “We have created some very powerful enemies in the Japanese government,” Hammarstedt told The New York Times, and also said that Watson thought the Japanese were behind the arrest.

So when Watson was released on bail, he fled rather than risk extradition. “I decided I know if I go to Japan I’m not going to be released, ever. So I left Germany,” he told CTV. To review, Watson was arrested in Germany on charges by Costa Rica, for actions in Guatemalan waters, potentially as just a front for the Japanese.

A month after he took to the sea, Interpol issued a red notice at Costa Rica’s behalf. They issued another red notice a month later on behalf of Japan, on charges of breaking in and damaging a whaling ship in 2010. Whether or not he would extradited to Japan before, he almost definitely would now.

The international criminal co-operation system makes any port, save for the least savory, potentially dangerous, according to Robert Currie, a law professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

“He could very well be arrested in quite a large number of countries and the countries where he couldn’t get arrested are probably countries where he wouldn’t want to go,” Currie told CTV.

And so Watson wanders the high seas, transferring from ship to ship in international waters, unable to see his daughter and grandchildren in Seattle. Like Snowden, he is a man who cannot safely enter or leave a country. That must suck. But the open seas still sound better than being stuck in an airport.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
INTERPOL Red Notice Removal Lawyers Videos:

INTERPOL Notice Removal

INTERPOL’s Red Notice

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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Edward Snowden, Evo Morales and the Overflight Rights of State Aircraft

July 11, 2013

lawprofessors.typepad.com on July 3, 2013 released the following:

“We wanted to check in with a few thoughts on the fascinating events surrounding the rerouting of Bolivian President Evo Morales’ return flight from Moscow. While there are conflicting news reports as to exactly what happened, it appears that President Morales’ aircraft, while en route from Russia to Bolivia, was denied permission to enter French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese airspace. The aircraft landed in Austria to refuel, where, according to some reports, it was searched by local authorities before finally being permitted to continue the flight home today. It is widely believed that the aforementioned governments denied Morales overflight authorization because of pressure from the United States government which believed Edward Snowden, wanted in connection with U.S. security leaks, may have been aboard the aircraft.

Leaving aside the many related issues that are outside the purview of this blog, the denial of overflight authorization to Morales’ aircraft has garnered criticism from many Latin American leaders and raised questions of international law. We thought it would be helpful to provide a few brief points of reference with regard to the relevant international aviation law surrounding the situation.

First, overflights by State aircraft fall largely outside of the 1944 Convention on International Civil Aviation, the basis for most of what we discuss as “international aviation law.” Article 3 of the Convention limits the Convention’s application to civil, as opposed to State, aircraft. While State aircraft isn’t fully defined, there is no question that aircraft transporting a sitting State president on official State business qualifies.

Article 3(c) prohibits State aircraft from flying over the territory of another State without prior authorization. While obtaining overflight authorization for diplomatic aircraft such as the one carrying Morales is often routine (a description of U.S. authorization procedures can be found here), States have a clear legal right to deny such authorization. We don’t currently know enough about what Morales’ original intended flight path was, and what, if any, authorizations were obtained prior to takeoff only to be later revoked. Given States’ broad sovereign authority in this area, there doesn’t appear to be any violations of international law, at least not as relates to aviation. Of course, such an unusual incident is certain to carry diplomatic and political consequences regardless of legality.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
INTERPOL Red Notice Removal Lawyers Videos:

INTERPOL Notice Removal

INTERPOL’s Red Notice

————————————————————–

To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

————————————————————–

International criminal defense questions, but want to be anonymous?

Free Skype Tel: +1.202.470.3427, OR

Free Skype call:

           Office Locations

Email: