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A Dutch activist linked to radical antiwhaling group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society was acquitted Wednesday of assaulting a Japanese worker in the whaling town of Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture, in December.

In his ruling on Erwin Vermeulen, 42, Judge Satoshi Shibayama said the Wakayama District Court could not rule out the possibility his accuser was lying and that “there remains doubt over the credibility of the testimony, which is the only evidence” in the case.

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