Anti-whaling campaigner goes on trial in Japan (2)

20:57, May 27, 2010      

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Outside court, Bethune's lawyer Dan Harris said his client wants the world to know he is glad to have done what he did to stop the slaughter of whales and would do it again if he had the chance.

Harris said there was no last-minute plea bargaining and prosecutors will be pushing hard for a jail term. The defence argues that, at worst, Bethune should be handed a suspended sentence and released.

The trial is expected to last three days. Summing up will be on Monday and the court is expected to reserve its decision.

Japan defends whaling as part of its culture and carries it out under a loophole to an international ban that allows lethal " scientific research".

About 20 ultra-nationalist protesters gathered outside the court on Thursday denouncing the New Zealander as a terrorist and calling for him to be jailed. One placard said he should be hanged.Source: Xinhua
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