Bethune slams Govt as 'lap dog'
Monday 12 Jul 2010 11:30 a.m.
By Deanna Harris with NZPA
Anti-whaling protester Pete Bethune says his trial was a miscarriage of justice and has called the New Zealand Government a "lap dog" for its lack of support.
Bethune returned to New Zealand on Saturday after receiving a suspended two year jail sentence for boarding a Japanese whaling vessel.
At a press conference today, he said his trial had been a miscarriage of justice because the real criminals, the Japanese whalers, did not face charges for sinking his $3 million ship, the Ady Gil.
"I step onto his boat and spend the next five months incarcerated with rapists, murderers and mafia.
"Japan insists on upholding the law but only when it suits them."
He said he was "disgusted" by the lack of support he had received from the New Zealand Government, particularly from Foreign Minister Murray McCully.
“What upsets me the most however about this is where it happens. It is in my backyard and it is in the backyard of all Aussies and Kiwis,” says Mr Bethune.
“Since 1987 when the moratorium on commercial whaling came into affect Japan so called research programme has killed about over 10,000 whales and generated over $1 billion in revenue. To call this any thing other than commercial whaling is a farcical.
“The only aspect that is traditional is the way the whales die. They are spared through the back with a harpoon and spend the last 30 minutes of there lives thrashing in agony as they slowly but surely bleed to death.”
Bethune also said he would remain a member of the Sea Shepherd organisation.
Before he was sentenced Sea Shepherd said there was no place in the organisation for Bethune but later changed that stance, saying it was a tactical move in the hope of a lighter sentence.