From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 1999:
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
founder Paul Watson, 47, on November 22
reported to prison in St. John’s, Newfoundland, to
serve the final nine days of his 1995 30-day sentence
for mischief in connection with a confrontation
versus the Cuban trawler Rio Las Casas on the
Grand Banks in July 1993. Watson was free pending
the outcome of an unsuccessful appeal to the
Newfoundland Supreme Court. He said a Sea
Shepherd Supporter had pledged to pay him
$10,000 U.S. for each day he was in prison.
Newfoundland judge Robert Fowler on
October 27 ruled for the second time that the
Crown prosecution of seven sealers for allegedly
skinning seals alive and illegally killing whitecoats
during the 1996 hunt may not use videotape and
testimony by Chris Wicke and Jack Severson
because they told the sealers they were working for
a U.S. sports TV program. In fact, they were hired
by IFAW. This, Fowler said, meant Wicke and
Severson were not credible witnesses. Fowler’s
ruling is under Crown appeal.
Losing every ruling in a year-long
legal battle, the Fashion Valley Mall, in San
Diego, California, has dismissed pursuit of an
injunction barring Last Chance for Animals, LCA
executive director Eric Mindel, and LCA attorney
Roland Vincent from engaging in anti-fur protests
at the mall. Ironically, none were involved in such
protests in the first place, Mindel said, but Fashion
Valley sued them anyway, and LCA fought the
case to protect free speech. Mindel told ANIMAL
PEOPLE that Fashion Valley is still pursuing cases
against individual activists Andrea Lindsey a n d
Joe Arden; Lindsey has a pending countersuit.
Animal Rights Direct Action Coalition
founder Gina Lynn, 26, was released from jail in
St. Clair County, Missouri, on October 26. Lynn,
of Boulder Creek, California, was jailed for contempt
of court on October 5 for refusing to submit
handwriting samples to a grand jury investigating
threatening letters received by A n h e u s e r – B u s c h
Inc. and company chair August Busch III in 1995-
1996, demanding the release of Sea World marine
mammals. Anheuser-Busch Inc. owns Sea World.
Judge James Doyle of Kane County,
Illinois, on October 28 dropped a charge of felony
eavesdropping filed by the St. Charles police on
July 2 against SHARK founder Steve Hindi, after
Hindi taped their refusal to enforce anti-cruelty
laws against the Kane County Fair rodeo––but a
grand jury reinstated the charge on November 3.
The St. Charles police are attempting to contend
that they have a right to privacy even when performing
public duties in a public place. Courts
have traditionally held that public actions of public
officials may be photographed and recorded.
The Illinois Supreme Court ruled on
October 21 that the Illinois constitution allows the
public to sue the state only over environmental
issues pertaining to public health, not on behalf of
endangered species. The verdict ended the effort of
Creal Springs resident Joseph Glisson to halt construction
of a dam that might kill populations of the
rare Indiana crayfish and least brook lamprey.
The Nevada Supreme Court o n
November 18 upheld a Clark County District
C o u r t ruling that entertainer Bobby Berosini’ s
nine orangutans are “tools of the trade” by which
Berosini gains a living, and are therefore exempt
from seizure to satisfy a $372,625 judgement he
owes to P E T A for legal fees and court costs.
PETA in 1989 alleged that Berosini beat the orangutans.
Berosini won a lower court verdict for slander,
later reversed by the Nevada Supreme Court.
The Arizona Court of Appeals o n
November 23 upheld the misdemeanor convictions
of Kurt Bonnewell, Lauralu Harkins, Lee
Hulsey, and Walter Randall for trapping on public
land in violation of the 1994 trapping ban
approved by state voters. The case was the first
constitutional challenge to the ban.
The European Court of Human Rights
on November 25 ruled16-1 that British courts
wrongly convicted Dorset hunt saboteurs J o s e p h
Hashman and Wanda Harrup of breach of peace,
for blowing a horn and shouting at hounds in March
1993, and then wrongly kept them on probation