Bethune has received a two-year suspended sentence and banned from Japan
for five years, for obstructing a whaling fleet in the Antarctic Ocean.
expected to be deported back to New Zealand on the next available flight.
45, was also found guilty of assault, for throwing a bottle of rancid butter
at whalers on board the whaling ship Shonan Maru II.
was made at the Tokyo District Court this afternoon, after Bethune obstructed
the activities of a Japanese whaling fleet in February.
is suspended for five years, meaning Bethune will not be jailed.
News reporter Melissa Davies was in court for the sentence, watch her report.
had hoped to receive a suspended sentence, according to his wife Sharyn
in Auckland, but has said he was "very nervous" ahead of sentencing.
will accept the verdict, but I do hope to go home soon," Peter Bethune,
a former member of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, told Kyodo News
agency in an interview at Tokyo Detention House. He
pleaded guilty last month to charges relating to the illegal boarding of
a Japanese whaling ship, but not guilty to assault, after being held in
custody since February, when he boarded the Japanese whaling fleet's security
ship the Shonan Maru II during its annual trip south.
Bethune has said she hopes her husband will be able to return to New Zealand
- and his daughters Danielle and Alycia - as early as Saturday morning.
Bethune reacts to verdict
of Foreign Affairs spokesman told NZPA a New Zealand government official
would attend the sentencing.
was captain of the US-based environmentalist group's futuristic powerboat,
the Ady Gil - his former record-setting trimaran Earthrace - which sank
after an earlier collision with the Shonan Maru II. He tried to serve a
citizen's arrest warrant to the captain of the Shonan Maru II over the sinking
of his vessel and the attempted murder of him and his crew, but was captured.
deeply regret" if someone was injured in the Antarctic Ocean, he said
ahead of his ruling tomorrow. "I have nothing against Japanese."
trial in Tokyo, Bethune pleaded guilty to charges including trespassing,
vandalism and holding a knife, which he used to cut netting as he climbed
onto the ship from a jet ski, but he has denied the assault charge.
also accused of causing chemical burns to the face of a whaler with a rancid
butter stink bomb and four other charges.
I was doing was standing up for New Zealand and Australia," he told
that it was "deeply offensive" for the two countries to see the
Japanese hunting whales specifically in the Antarctic Ocean, and that he
"wouldn't mind if it is Northern Pacific".
Sea Shepherd crew members say they are "relieved" with the sentence.
Shepherd founder Paul Watson responds to verdict.
Shepherd group has said Bethune would no longer join its actions after taking
a bow and arrows on the latest high-seas campaign, contrary to Sea Shepherd's
stance of "aggressive but non-violent direct action".
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