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Cablegate: Japan Issues Arrest Warrants for American And

VZCZCXRO6285
OO RUEHAST RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD RUEHTM
DE RUEHKO #2313 2350650
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 220650Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6757
INFO RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RHMFIUU/FBI WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS TOKYO 002313

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/J AND CA/OCS -- MEENA KORFF
USDOC FOR NOAA/NMFS - CHERI MCCARTY

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EFIS CASC SENV JA
SUBJECT: JAPAN ISSUES ARREST WARRANTS FOR AMERICAN AND
BRITISH ANTI-WHALING ACTIVISTS

1. (U) Tokyo Metropolitan Police obtained arrest warrants
August 18 for two Americans, Jonathan Batchelor and Ralph
Koo, and a British national, Daniel Bebawi, members of the
anti-whaling NGO Sea Shepherd. The three are accused of
"forcible obstruction of business" relating to their protests
against Japan's research whaling fleet in the waters near
Antarctica in February 2007, according to press reports and
the Sea Shepherd website. The Japanese National Police will
submit a request to the International Criminal Police
Organization to issue Red Notices for the three suspects.
Koo is accused of throwing 18 smoke markers at one of the
Japanese whaling fleets sighting vessels, the "Keiko Maru,"
from a Sea Shepherd vessel on February 12, 2007. Batchelor
and Bebawi are accused of throwing a mooring rope into the
water near the "Kaiko Maru" to foul the ship's propeller.

2. (SBU) Japan will first pursue the three men through
Interpol, but could seek extradition from the United States
if necessary, according to MOFA Oceans and Fisheries Division
Deputy Director. Neither FBI nor DOJ was consulted prior to
the issuance of the arrest warrants. The NPA is well aware
that the United States does not arrest individuals based
solely on Interpol red notices, and that for U.S. officials
to arrest these individuals based on the Japanese charges
would require a request from Japan under the U.S.-Japan
Extradition Treaty. In addition, issuing a press release,
thereby very publicly notifying these individuals that they
are wanted in Japan, indicates that the Japanese may not be
serious about actually prosecuting these individuals in
Japan. A contact within the Japan Ministry of Justice
advised that this appeared to be more for political statement
than any real law enforcement intent based on how it was
handled by the Government of Japan.
SCHIEFFER

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