21 Mar 2010

Detained whaling protester 'in good spirits'

2:04 pm on 21 March 2010

The New Zealand Government says whaling protester Peter Bethune is in good shape in a Japanese detention centre.

Mr Bethune was captain of high-speed protester boat the Ady Gil, which sank following a collision with a Japanese whaling ship in January this year.

The skipper boarded the Shonan Maru No 2 in protest at the incident, was detained and taken to Japan.

Mr Bethune has not appeared in court despite being formally charged with trespass.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says consular staff in Japan have been in regular contact with him.

The last visit was on Thursday and Mr Bethune was found to be healthy and in good spirits, with regular access to a lawyer.