Sea Shepherd Anti-Whaling Activist Convicted in Japan

A Japanese court on Wednesday convicted anti-whaling activist Peter Bethune of assault and obstructing Japanese whaling ships, but he will not serve any jail time.

The New Zealander was sentenced to two years in prision for boarding a Japanese whaling vessel in February. But the court suspended the sentence for five years, meaning he will not be jailed and will be able to return to New Zealand. 

Bethune was part of the Sea Shepherd group that has waged a high-profile campaign to harass Japanese whaling ships in Antarctic waters. 

Sea Shepherd recently announced it expelled Bethune from the group for violating a policy against carrying weapons. The group said he had a bow and arrows with him during the whaling season, although he never used them.

Despite his ousting, the group called him a "hero."

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