CANBERRA, Australia -- The Australian government condemned anti-whaling activists who boarded a Japanese ship in Antarctic waters and is considering prosecution, reports said.
Australian citizen Benjamin Potts and British citizen Giles Lane, members of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, jumped on board the Yushin Maru No. 2 without permission on Tuesday with a letter claiming the vessel was violating international law, and Australian law, by killing whales.
Australia sent a customs ship to rendezvous with the Japanese ship Wednesday and pick up the two men, CNN reported Thursday.
While the conservation group claimed the men had been kidnapped, Australia's News.com.au said Australian Federal Police were considering charging the men with various offenses ranging from trespass to terrorism.
The Japanese Fisheries Agency held a news conference and claimed the men were terrorists while Capt. Paul Watson, of the group's Sea Shepherd ship, claimed the men were seized by the Japanese crew and assaulted.
Japan is hunting for as many as 1,000 whales in the Antarctic, which is permitted under international law because their harvest is claimed to be scientific.
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