Bogus Extradition Process to Proceed, but Captain Paul Watson Granted Bail
Higher Regional Court Defers Judgment to Ministry of Justice
In an extraordinary move by the German Higher Regional Court in Frankfurt, the court has granted the general public prosecutor’s request for Captain Paul Watson’s preliminary arrest for extradition to Costa Rica. However, the court has also granted bail for Captain Paul Watson during the time the court considers whatever documentation Costa Rica is able to provide to substantiate their bogus allegations against Captain Paul Watson. It is expected that Captain Paul Watson will be freed on bail on Monday, May 21, 2012. Sea Shepherd’s legal team says this is an unusual, but promising move on the part of the Higher Regional Court and is further indication that the international campaigning efforts for Captain Paul Watson’s release are being heard in the chambers of justice in Germany.
In a press release, received towards the end of business hours Friday, the Higher Regional Court stated that "the question of whether or not Mr. Paul Watson will be extradited is not ultimately a decision by the Higher Regional Court but by the executive body which is the Ministry of Justice”.
Even the Higher Regional Court is stating that the Ministry of Justice in Germany can step in and prevent his extradition at any time. The international campaign to save Captain Paul Watson from a politically-motivated extradition to Costa Rica where he will not receive a fair trial, nor is it likely that he would even survive jail to see the inside of a courtroom, is having an effect. The Taiwanese shark fin mafia in Costa Rica has made threats on Captain Paul Watson’s life.
First the general public prosecutor stated in his motion to the Higher Regional Court, that the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have the power to stop the extradition process for political reasons. Now, the Higher Regional Court in Frankfurt is also deferring to the Ministry of Justice.
Sea Shepherd calls on its supporters in Germany and overseas to continue writing Federal Minister of Justice Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger and Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Guido Westerwelle and expressing their concern about a politically-motivated extradition that would be the same as a death sentence.
Sea Shepherd is planning a global day of action on Wednesday May 23, to coincide with a diplomatic visit to Germany by Costa Rican president Laura Chinchilla Miranda.
To view the current statement from the German courts (these sites are in German) click on the links below.
More details to follow.
Please Call, Email, and Fax the following Ministers
Federal Minister of Justice
Platz der Republik 1
Telephone 030 - 227 751 62
Fax 030 - 227 764 02
Federal Ministry of Justice
Telephone: +49 (030) 18 580-0
Telefax: +49 (030) 18 580-9525
Dr. Guido Westerwelle - Minister of Foreign Affairs
Platz der Republik 1
Tel.: 030 / 22771636
Fax: 030 / 22776562