Captain Alex Cornelissen and 1st Officer Peter Hammarstedt have now been judged by Nova Scotia Judge Jean Whalen of exercising radical and criminal compassion for baby seals slaughtered by the East Coast barbarian sealers.
The two Sea Shepherd officers were taken prisoner by a Canadian Mounted police SWAT team in April 2008 when the Sea Shepherd ship Farley Mowat was illegally boarded in international waters on the orders of Canadian Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn.
Their crime: documenting the cruel slaughter of seal pups. In Canada it is a violation of the Orwellian Seal Protection regulations to witness or document the killing of a seal by a Canadian sealer without a permit from the government of Canada.
Canada's reasoning is that if people are prevented from witnessing the killing, than no one will care and Canada's obscene national perversion can continue unobstructed.
After being arrested and released on bail, Alex and Peter were deported from Canada for life. In other words, they were sentenced to deportation without a trial.
This meant of course that they could not return to Canada to attend the trial in late April 2009. This was very convenient for Canada. The two could not return to Nova Scotia to defend themselves, so the judge ruled that they failed to appear and the trial was ordered to proceed without the defendants.
And surprise, surprise, the Judge ruled on June 30th, 2009 that both Alex and Peter have been found guilty of violating the "seal protection" regulations.
The sentencing for this horrific and dastardly offense will be delivered in September 2009. The maximum penalty is a $100,000 fine and/or 1 year in prison.
The penalty cannot be enforced outside of Canada and since both men are prohibited from returning to Canada for the rest of their lives than this means the sentence, whatever it will be, is irrelevant.
The court of course has ordered the seizure of the 5,000 doubloons ($10,000 Cdn) that the author Farley Mowat posted for their bail.
The court had previously ordered the confiscation of the ship Farley Mowat without a hearing or a trial. The ship was sold by the government of Canada for $50,000 with the government seizing the funds. In addition, the government pumped off and sold some $90,000 worth of diesel fuel. This represents a blatant act of piracy on the part of the Canadian government. They boarded and seized a Dutch registered ship in international waters, stole the possessions of 18 crewmembers they did not arrest, stole the ship, and then ordered two officers into a trial they were prohibited from attending, stole their bail money, and then justified it all in the name of defending the horrific cruelty and perversion of one of the most notorious and despicable wildlife slaughters in the world.
On the positive side for Sea Shepherd, the publicity generated from the 2008 arrest helped considerably in encouraging European Parliamentarians to vote for the bill to ban seal products into Europe.
In this case, Sea Shepherd may have lost a battle at sea and in the courts BUT we appear to have won the war. The economic damage inflicted upon the sealing industry is far greater than the economic impact on the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, especially considering the fact that the Society was planning to retire the Farley Mowat after the seal campaign anyways.
We had made plans to berth the ship at the marine museum in New London, Connecticut right after the seal campaign. The ship was not meant to do any additional campaigns.