San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

After Paul Watson flees, German court renews extradition warrant

FRANKFURT – A German court Wednesday reissued an arrest warrant for the extradition to Costa Rica of Paul Watson, founder of marine conservation group Sea Shepherd. Watson had skipped bail and left the country.

A spokeswoman for the German Federal Justice Ministry said Watson’s whereabouts are unknown, and she could not say whether he was still in the country.

The higher regional court in Frankfurt said Watson’s lawyer had informed the court that Watson had left Germany “for an unspecified destination,” and that the court had decided to resume extradition proceedings against him.

Earlier this year, Costa Rica filed an extradition request on charges stemming from a high-seas confrontation between a Sea Shepherd ship and a Costa Rican vessel over alleged illegal shark finning in 2002.

On a visit to Germany in May, Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla said Watson would have a fair trial if extradited to the Central American country.

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