Moon pleads innocent in fish case

Posted: Friday, September 15, 2000

KODIAK (AP) -- Sun Myung Moon, head of the Unification Church, and his wife Hak Ja Han, both pleaded innocent in Kodiak District Court Wednesday to charges of taking more than the legal limit of silver salmon from Marka Bay on Afognak Island.

Moon, 80, and his wife, who is 47, did not appear in the courtroom for their arraignment. Their plea was entered by attorney Marcus Paine of Anchorage.

The Moons live in Irvington, N.Y., but the church has an extensive presence in Kodiak. A pretrial conference on the case was set for Oct. 11.

Moon and Han were cited Aug. 25 by undercover Fish and Wildlife Protection Troopers, acting on a tip. The pair were sport fishing from the shore, along with a dozen others, according to troopers who issued the citation.

Troopers say they observed Moon taking 10 silver salmon -- twice the legal limit for that remote area, and Han taking six silvers. The fish were confiscated and donated to a Russian Orthodox school in Kodiak.

Troopers say they issued verbal warnings for fishing without a license to about five others in Moon's party.

In general, people are fined $100 for overfishing, plus $20 per fish and a court surcharge of $50, according to trooper Sgt. Joanna Roop.

According to that formula, Moon would be fined $250 in addition to the forfeiture of the illegal salmon. Han would be fined $170. The violations are misdemeanors.

The Unification Church, with followers and businesses all over the world, is the largest taxpayer and the largest private employer in Kodiak. It owns a fleet of fishing boats and a processing plant, International Seafood of Alaska.



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