Paul Watson prepares defense in Costa Rica
Oliver Wallasch, conservationist Paul Watson’s attorney in Germany, on Tuesday confirmed that he had contacted Costa Rican attorney Federico Morales to prepare a defense strategy against charges leveled in Costa Rica.
Morales told the daily La Nación that he will present himself as Watson’s attorney before a local court to obtain access to case files, but he “preferred not to comment on any further details.”
A San José criminal court said its experts are translating an indictment and extradition request against Watson into English, French and German, to be sent to Germany within two months.
Watson faces a penalty of up to 15 years in prison. The statute of limitations on the case will expire in June 2013. Prosecutors filed charges in 2002 against the Canadian captain for allegedly endangering the lives of eight fishermen and for attempting to cause a shipwreck. Watson did not attend a trial on June 26, 2006, and the Costa Rican courts considered him a fugitive.
Article 251 of the Costa Rican Penal Code punishes “anyone who knowingly executes any act which endangers the safety of a boat or floating structure.”
Several local conservationist groups have asked Costa Rica’s government to drop the charges against Watson, but no official statement have been made.
Watson’s arrest is in response to an alleged violation of ships traffic in Costa Rica, which occurred during the filming of ‘Sharkwater’ in 2002,” Sea Shepherd said. The specific “violation of ships traffic” incident took place in Guatemalan waters, when Sea Shepherd encountered an illegal shark-finning operation run by a Costa Rican ship called the Varadero, it added in a statement.
You may be interested
Fishing for the next generation in QueposScott Cutter / Marina Pez Vela - May 20, 2019
Having completed the 20th edition of the Offshore World Championship in May, and the 7th edition of this iconic event…
Costa Rica announces provisional 40-man roster for Gold CupAlejandro Zúñiga - May 20, 2019
Costa Rica on Monday announced the 40-man provisional roster that will serve as the basis for its 2019 Gold Cup…
Costa Rica allocates $3.35 million for port infrastructure in LimónAlejandro Zúñiga - May 20, 2019
The Atlantic Port Authority (JAPDEVA) will manage more than $3.35 million as it explores four projects to support the economy…