Greenpeace prosecution was unjustified

Letters to the editor

Posted: Sunday, August 07, 2005

On Aug. 1, Alaska judge Kevin Miller overturned a Ketchikan jury and acquitted Greenpeace and the captain of the Arctic Sunrise from the state's charges that they operated the ship without filing an oil spill contingency plan.

Greenpeace fully supports the state of Alaska's environmental safety rules for ocean-going vessels, which were adopted after hard experience with oil spills from marine disasters. As soon as the ship's operator, Stichting Marine Services, was notified of the oversight in filing the proper documents, it promptly filed them. Nonetheless, the state of Alaska chose to criminally prosecute Greenpeace.

We have always believed the charges filed against Greenpeace and the other defendants were unjustified. Judge Miller agreed, writing in his order "... the evidence viewed in the light most favorable to upholding the jury's verdict cannot support conviction."

Sadly, across the country Greenpeace and other outspoken organizations are increasingly under attack by politically motivated and taxpayer-funded prosecutions. We are grateful that common sense prevailed in Ketchikan.

Greenpeace is committed to press on, expose scandals, and work towards sustainable solutions. Here in Southeast Alaska we will continue to research and document the good and bad concerning forest management and to discuss our findings with the customers of the region's forest products, from Seattle to Tokyo.

Scott Paul

Forest Campaign Coordinator

Washington, D.C.

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