|Steve Irwin proudly returns|
Steve Irwin and Bob Barker docked in Tasmania yesterday, greeted by a crowd of wellwishers...but also police with search warrants executed on behalf of Japan.
Onboard video material is being investigated, after a tumultuous whaling season that included a collision between another activist boat, Ady Gil, and a Japanese whaling ship, Shonan Maru 2, that led to AG sinking. AG's NZ captain Peter Bethune was later detained by Nasty Nippon after he boarded SM2 illegally.
Police also confiscated log books, charts and laptops, and interviewed some crew. They did not reveal the reason for their search, and the group has no idea what the Japanese complaints may be - guess!!! (Oz police also searched and seized evidence from SI in 2009 but there were no charges.)
Politically, the Australian Green Party is livid, saying it's "outrageous that Australian police are at the disposal of the Japanese whale killers." Meanwhile PM Kevin Rudd won't comment directly on the action but says the Government's position on Japanese whaling is clear. It will be interesting to see if Australia WILL hold true to its position - many hopes are resting on it.