August 2, 2012
Germans search for eco-fugitive Paul Watson
By Daniel Proussalidis, Parliamentary Bureau
OTTAWA - International eco-fugitive Paul Watson's relationship with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) has steadily become increasingly lucrative.
American tax filings from 2010 show the Canadian-born activist received more than $120,000 that year from the organization he founded - a 50% increase from his pay two years earlier.
That's still a small fraction of the $9.8 million U.S. revenue the SSCS reported in its 2010 filings.
For now, Watson will have to cash any paycheques while running from the law.
He skipped bail in Germany last week, where he'd been arrested on a Costa Rican warrant for a violent 2002 confrontation with shark hunters.
The Sea Shepherd skipper says he feared eventual extradition to Japan, where he's also a wanted man.
A senior public prosecutor in Frankfurt, Germany, told QMI Agency authorities are trying to find Watson, but a new international warrant "was not issued."
Gunter Wittig also said Watson's bail money is in limbo.
"A decision has not yet been made on the forfeiture of the 250,000 euro bail," said Wittig.
Meanwhile, fundraising continues at Sea Shepherd, with a $100-per-plate vegan dinner on Monday in Clarksville, Md - near where the organization is embroiled in a lawsuit with former skipper Pete Bethune.
Known for ramming boats and throwing nausea-inducing acid at whalers, the SSCS lost its charitable status in Canada, but it remains a registered charity in the U.S.
The organization has not accepted QMI Agency's request for comment.