Pete Bethune's Criminal Trial Set to Begin in Japan

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Sea Shepherd volunteer Pete Bethune faces criminal trial in Tokyo, beginning May 27, for charges including trespassing and property damage.

Seattle based law firm, Harris & Moure, will have two of its lawyers in Tokyo during the trial to assist Mr. Bethune’s Japanese defense team

The criminal trial against Sea Shepherd Conservation Society volunteer Pete Bethune begins in Tokyo on May 27. Bethune was arrested in March and he remains in detention in Tokyo. He was arrested after boarding the Japanese whaling vessel Shonan Maru 2 in February to protest the sinking of Sea Shepherd’s vessel, the ADY GIL and Japan’s illegal whaling. He faces trial charges, including trespassing and property damage.

According to Sea Shepherd, Bethune boarded the Shonan Maru 2 to present the captain of that vessel with a three million dollar invoice for damages arising from the Shonan Maru 2’s destruction of the vessel ADY GIL, on which Bethune was captain. Bethune also boarded the vessel in an effort to stop it from slaughtering more whales. Bethune’s boarding did cause the Shonan Maru 2 to withdraw from the whale kill.

Sea Shepherd’s Seattle based law firm, Harris & Moure, will have two of its lawyers in Tokyo during the trial to assist Mr. Bethune’s Japanese defense team and to explain Sea Shepherd’s position on Mr. Bethune’s trial and on Japan’s illegal whaling operations. Harris & Moure’s Managing Partner, Dan Harris, will be available in Tokyo for media questions beginning on May 26 and throughout the trial.

Steve Dickinson, who heads Harris & Moure’s Asia practice out of Qingdao, China, will be at the trial both as a translator and as a liaison to Sea Shepherd in the United States. Mr. Dickinson began his legal career with a prominent Tokyo law firm and he is fluent in Japanese.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is a US 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that engages in direct action to prevent illegal whaling and fishing. More information on the Society can be found at http://www.seashepherd.org. Harris & Moure has a long history of handling maritime matters in Asia, including Japan. More information on the firm can be found at http://www.harrismoure.com.

For more information on the trial press may contact Dan Harris directly on his Tokyo cell phone at +81-90-6094-8321 (090-6094-8321) beginning on May 26. The case will be heard in Tokyo District Court, under reference Heisei 22, Criminal (wa) Number 826.

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Stephanie Henry
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