New Zealand anti-whaling activist Peter Bethune will plead guilty to four of the five charges laid against him when he goes on trial in Tokyo District Court today, his lawyer confirmed last night.
Bethune, 45, in Auckland, will admit trespass, possession of a weapon, damage to property and obstructing commercial activity, but deny the most serious charge of assault, his lawyer Dan Harris said, confirming comments in New Zealand by Bethune's wife, Sharyn.
Good. That means that we no longer have to call him Pete the (alleged) Pirate; he's 'fessing up to everything except the assault, which will go to trial today. He is admitting that he is a criminal.
But we had to laugh when we read this bit (our emphasis added):
"Essentially on some of the claims, there is no point in fighting them," Harris told Agence France Presse, after visiting Bethune in detention.
"I mean, he went on the vessel. Technically it's trespass," he said, adding that his client had also been carrying a knife with a blade slightly longer than is permitted under Japanese law.
Harris has criticised the Japanese authorities for trying to stage "a political show trial".
What??!! If anyone is staging a "political show trial", it is Pete the Pirate Bethune. He knowingly and illegally boarded a foreign-flagged vessel in international waters armed with a knife. He was rightly arrested, as he knew that he would be. He must now face the consequences of his actions.
If you think we have little to no sympathy for Pete Bethune, you'd be dead right. He's made his bed; now he has to lie in it. Sea Shepherd has, it seems, left him to his own devices; his value to them is now about as much as that of the Ady Gil.
We now wait for the Japanese legal system to take its course.