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Treason on Trial
Posted by: Lahasa Fy, Shili Free Press
Date: Year 20 Day 63 Onboard the Modular Taskforce Cruiser [PRESS]Burden of Proof in system n/a (13, 173).

Recently, a landmark trial began on Republica as a sitting New Republic Senator and Army General, Shu Shei Dael, has been charged with a litany of crimes, the worst of them being treason. Shili Free Press has a correspondent attending the trial and she has filed the following report regarding the trial's initial stages, now that the evidence has been formally presented to the court.



General and Senator Shu Shei Dael stands accused of one count each of seven separate charges of violating New Republic law: Official Misconduct, Making False Statements, Perjury, Revealing Classified Information, Corruption, Espionage, and Treason. Prosecutor Phoenix Firewind presented his opening argument and laid out a wide swath of detailed evidence to the presiding judges in the courtroom.

The case centers around a series of leaked classified documents from the Senate chambers and from a specific New Republic Military Battlegroup referenced in the prosecution’s opening remarks. When the leaks originally surfaced, there was confusion regarding the source of the information. The mole within the Senate and the battlegroup within which General Dael served was careful to obscure and edit many markings on the official documents, creating uncertainty as to the true source of the revelations.

However, prior to another set of leaked information being released, New Republic Intelligence (NRI) inserted a new encoded sequence on all official communications and all access terminals capable of accessing classified information. This sequence utilized the identification credentials of the user accessing or transmitting the information to create a unique identifier code. This code was disguised as an innocuous morale slogan and was not publicly known to be a means of tracking identity. Once the final leak of the related sequence occurred, following the institution of the tracking protocol, the accused is alleged to have not understood or recognized the code embedded in the message. NRI determined the identity of the one accessing the transmitted information to be General Dael, utilizing the new code. However, because only the final set of leaked information could be conclusively proven with the new protocol, only that set was used for the charges brought to the court, rather than multiple counts of the charges due to multiple sets of leaks. The previous leaks have been introduced as corroborating but circumstantial evidence, as the prosecution did not feel they could be definitively tied to General Dael.

Currently, the prosecution is in the process of calling witnesses to bolster the framework of their accusations, starting with the Deputy Director of NRI. The defense will have their chance to cross-examine each witness and will then attempt to refute the accusations once the prosecution has finished with their case.

Mr. Evan Bluvius, a high-ranking member of the Triumvirate Coalition and believed by some to be a member of their intelligence agency, has been retained by General Dael as his defense counsel. Given the close-knit intelligence circles within the former Galactic Alliance, seeing Mr. Bluvius in a role at direct odds with the forces marshalled by NRI Director Adam Hughes adds an awkward and intriguing subtext to the proceedings. It is also interesting to note that during the pre-trial evidence phase, some of the defense’s own evidence including messages by Mr. Bluvius himself, which appeared to have been edited in a manner that also failed to recognize the embedded code. The continuation of the editing and obfuscation of identity on the part of the defendant’s own defense team potentially further implicates the defendant, if he was the source of the defense’s information.

The prosecution's case does have several weaknesses, primarily regarding motive. The prosecution has openly admitted to not understanding why the accused would leak data and go to the alleged effort to hide his identity. The opening statement did not identify a suspected motive or group to which the defendant may have been connected, although there were allusions to potential motives. However, without a clear motive, some of the charges will be very difficult to prove to the extent required, particularly espionage and corruption.

We will continue to follow the trial and provide updates once the defense begins to attempt to attack the case stacked against them, and as soon as a verdict is announced.

Tianna Gal, Shili Free Press - Republica Correspondent

Shili Free Press has independently obtained a copy of one of the leaked documents with the attached code for which the Senator has been charged.  Click here for documentation. 

We at Shili Free Press certainly will keep an eye on those proceedings. Meanwhile, if you know of any other newsworthy events in the galaxy that you feel we should be covering, please feel free to reach out to any Shili Free Press affiliate. We will be happy to look into the story.

Thank you one and all, and as always, stay safe out there.

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Events in Brief
Year 20 Day 294: A new treaty was established on Kalarba I today between governing officials and diplomats from Confederacy of Independent Systems; these documents formalize the transition of power to becoming a protected territory of the government, a move largely embraced by the citizenry.
Year 20 Day 294: Rather than fall in line with Confederacy of Independent Systems's recent requests, Kalarba I issued a release today announcing that they have formally accepted the more conciliatory terms of a planetary body, and have declared Confederacy of Independent Systems a criminal organization on their planet.