Re: Mendell City Bugle

#141
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Conspiracy Theorists Protest Alleged “Corruption” Outside FIB Headquarters; Slammed As Politicizing Tragedy
June 14th, 2460
Early this morning a handful of protesters gathered outside the headquarters of the Federal Investigation Bureau. The protestors had mixed and confusing demands and statements.

Some present claimed they were were demanding the release of the confession tape of the alleged serial killer Ali Holmes, claiming the FIB had coerced Holmes into giving a false confession. Others fronted a conspiracy theory that the FIB was embezzling funds and that the serial killings were all an elaborate false-flag operation by the agency to gain more funding.

Daniel Preston was one of the protesters present, and agreed to an interview by one of our journalists. Wearing a torn t-shirt and blue jeans, he continuously scratched his arm as he spoke.

“The FIB is paying a hitman out of pocket to take these people out,” He claimed, “this is all a false flag operation by the New Democrats to stage a coup. It all starts here, man.”

Fernando Gonzales was another individual present at the protest, and we are lead to believe that he has arranged this entire event. He also accepted a request for statements and elaborated on his goals.

"We are here because we want three things: We want the public to be aware of Katelyn Jones' embezzlement. We want the details of the third murder to be accessible to NT detectives so the real killer can be caught. We want the tapes of Ali Holmes' confessions to be made public. We believe Doctor Holmes in innocent, we believe the FIB is being mismanaged."

True Democrats are a minority Ultra-Protectionist that broke off from the Social Democratic party in 2459 after becoming frustrated with the ‘timidity’ of their former party. They stand in opposition to the leading True Republican party and have hounded the FIB as being mismanaged. True Democrat and former presidential candidate Al-Harthi has given scathing criticism on FIB Director Katelyn Jones as being a “Dorn Lackey” and has repeatedly attempted to press legislation to get her removed from office.

True Democratic congressmen have denied being involved with the protest, and Al-Harthi herself did not return our calls or e-mails for comment.

Community leaders within Mendell City and the Odin have slammed the protesters for their apparent political affiliations.

“We still bear the fresh wounds of trauma,” said Mendell City Police Chief Robert Aheles, “I am really disappointed that these people would exploit a tragedy for a political gain.”

FIB Director Jones herself has responded to the allegations in a brief statement made over the phone to our studio.

“I’ve seen the documents and they’re fake as you can get,” Jones said over the phone, “the Agency is already audited monthly. I’m not even going to comment on the other allegations about staging a false flag other than saying Al-Harthi is a real piece of work if this was her doing. I guess we are just lucky that we have the fortune of going back to the normal groove of playing politics instead of living in fear of a killer.”

All of the documents shown by the protesters are two pieces of paper that allegedly show the financial accounts of the FIB agency as well as Katelyn Jones’ personal financial history.

We are unable to provide photos of the documents due to privacy laws. The FIB has also made a public comment that the agency may seek to place criminal charges for fraud and libel on anything that “proliferates the false financial documents.”

The FIB has not yet pressed charges on any individual, but is believed to be in contact with NanoTrasen to seek the identity of those who may have shared the documents.

The protest ended after several hours, and traffic resumed on the street outside the headquarters. Their demands are not yet so far, as Ali Holmes’ confession tape remains sealed, and Jones remains Director of the FIB.

The criminal trial for Ali Holmes is expected to begin on June 25th.
Editor's Note: The trial for Ali Holmes is the criminal trial, and not the sentencing trial. This mistake has been changed.

Re: Mendell City Bugle

#142
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Chief Medical Officer Charlie Dove Found Dead On The Odin - Copycat Killer?
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June 15th, 2460

The Odin has announced that a body has been found on the Odin once more, and the news has caused outright panic to sweep through the space station. Odin representatives have reinstated the mandatory 7pm curfew as tourists and visitors cancel their trips and abandon the Odin in droves. FIB officials have urged the public to remain calm.

The victim’s identity has been revealed as 44 year old Charlie Dove. Born in Nelson not knowing her mother, she succeeded her father when he passed away when she was 23 and left her a small fortune. She used this wealth to get herself through medical school at 25 and she became a Chief Medical Officer of the Cassam Remembered at 37. She worked on many stations but her most steady job was on the Aurora. She is survived by her niece and nephew as her only surviving family.

Odin and FIB officials have held an emergency press conference where they fielded incendiary questions from reporters. In the conference the FIB stressed that the genuine Odin killer, Ali Holmes, had been arrested and that this latest murder “looked to be either a copycat or a crime of passion.”

People in the crowd at the press conference grew belligerent, and at one point there was an incident as an attendant stood up and threw trash at the FIB representative. The assembly erupted into a furor as security moved to drag the man out of the press hall. The conference was then cancelled with further updates coming from e-mailed press releases.

The victim was described as having been attacked “suddenly” in the hallway of the B-13 business wing on the Odin. Officials have not released details, but Odin Detective Wildes has described the scene as “gruesome. This isn’t the style of the Odin Killer. This feels different. More visceral.”

Nathan Trasen had cancelled a trip to New Gibson and is returning to the Odin immediately. Residents on the Odin are reporting a sense of dread and deja-vu.

“We can’t go through this again.” Said one resident, “I can’t live on a station where something like this happens.”

Director Jones and Nathan Trasen are believed to be discussing recreating the Joint Task Force to investigate this new killing. Director Jones has stressed the importance of FIB jurisdiction over murder cases. Odin officials have avoided directly answering whether or not they are open to handing over jurisdiction.

“Tau Ceti law allows NanoTrasen to investigate and respond to crime on its installations,” a NanoTrasen representative said, “in most cases we are happy to waive this privilege to allow the authorities access.”

Re: Mendell City Bugle

#143
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Leaked Confession Tape Shows Ali Holmes Coerced Into Giving False Confession: “Saturday Massacre” Sees Mass Resignation
June 17th, 2460

Early this morning the Bugle received a video tape and several dozen transcripts that all exposed the FIB as having extracted a false and misleading confession from Ali Holmes, the suspected Odin Killer.

The video shows Holmes locked in an interrogation room with concrete walls. Holmes is handcuffed to the bare table. Two FIB agents, one unidentified male and Special Agent Godivia Crown, enter and exit the room in 2 hour shifts during the grueling 12 hour interrogation. Ali Holmes remained in the interrogation room for this entire time, only being allowed to leave once for a 10 minute bathroom break.

The transcripts reveal startling methods of coercion against Ali Holmes. In the initial stages of the interrogation, Special Agent Crown insists to Holmes that he is not being interrogated.
Agent Crown: “This is just an interview.”
Ali Holmes: “Then why am I handcuffed to the table??”
Agent Crown: “I am very sorry about that. It is just procedure. Now I’d like to talk to you about -”
Ali Holmes: “Can I decline this interview?”
Agent Crown: “You can. But I don’t know why you would refuse to talk to me. It would do nothing to help your case.”
Ali Holmes: “I didn’t do anything to have a case against me!”
Agent Crown: “Then why don’t you want to talk to me?”
The FIB interrogators also lied about the evidence against Holmes and assumed that he was guilty. Four hours into the interrogation Crown claimed they found Holmes prints on the murder weapons. Holmes became distraught, insisting he never purchased anything like that. Agent Crown then lied about finding a positive match of Holmes’ blood on the scene of the Charles Hall murder. Crown and the unidentified male agent then spent the next 8 hours wearing Holmes down, relentlessly pressuring him to plead guilty to “make things easy for you.”

Near the end of the interrogation, Crown threatened legal action against the entire Holmes family.
Agent Crown: “I’m beginning to think your family funded your habits on the Odin. I have these receipts of your mother buying you the wire. I think we’ll bring your parents in here. We’ll get the entire estate impounded. They’ll be locked behind bars for months with no bail and all their assets frozen. Your family is pretty wealthy, but how do you think they’ll do in a room like this, sitting across from me? Or spending hours every day on stand in the courtroom? Just make this easy for all of us and sign this document. If you sign this then this all goes away and your family won’t be bothered.”
Ali Holmes: “What does signing this mean?”
Agent Crown: “It means we end the interview and all this goes away.”
The recording also caught Agent Crown confessing that the agency knew Ali Holmes was not the killer they were looking for. A recording device was hidden in the observation room by the whistleblower, and caught this exchange.
Unknown: “I don’t know why you’re pushing him so hard. He’s not the guy.”
Agent Crown: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Unknown: “Wildes is all up on Jones’ ass about it.”
Agent Crown: “Jones’ primary concern is to prevent panic. If there’s a panic then things are going to spiral rapidly out of our control. Wildes doesn’t understand that.”
Unknown: “I don’t - how does it help to throw him in a hole if he isn’t the guy we’re after?”
Agent Crown: “We need time. This gives us that.”
Unknown: “We can’t throw innocent people to the wolves to buy more time.”
Agent Crown: “Then go resign and get out of my way.”
The response to the tapes has been immediate and incredibly incendiary. Protests have sparked onboard the NTCC Odin and in front of the FIB headquarters in Mendell City.

The FIB was riding high on the high-profile arrest of the person they claimed was a serial killer, and only yesterday the Department of Justice finalized the budget that gave the agency an additional 150 million credits in funding. Now the department is in a tailspin. Director Jones has been forced to resign, as well as 47 other FIB officials. With mass resignations and the reveal of illegal interrogation tactics paralyzing the agency, NanoTrasen announcing it is rejecting FIB requests for joint investigations.

Justice Department Attorney General Anibal Gonzalez has announced that he is launching an immediate investigation into the conduct of the FIB following the sudden resignation. He has issued a subpoena to FIB Director Jones, Agent Crown, and others involved in the case. There are no remarks on whether or not any involved officials will be arrested.

Public protests have gripped the NTCC Odin and the street in front of the FIB headquarters in Mendell City. Hundreds of people are taking to the streets and loudly protesting the abuses by the Agency.

The fate of Ali Holmes is still in the air, but there are strong indications that the charges against him will be thrown out as soon as this week, with Attorney General Gonzalez saying he would need to "finish the paperwork."

At the same time, the true Odin Killer remains at large, and the public does not know when, where, or who they will strike next.

Re: Mendell City Bugle

#144
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Ali Holmes Released
June 17th, 2460

Ali Holmes, who had been coerced into giving a false confession, was released from jail where he was being held without bond. The release comes after the Mendell City District Criminal Court threw out the confession and all evidence gathered by the FIB.

"There is severe and unforgivable tampering of evidence and it's all basically invalid at this point." Said Mendell City Judge Jake Forrest.

The FIB has not filed an appeal and is not expected to challenge the court's decision. The FIB agency is temporarily without a leader; after the forced resignation of Director Jones, Deputy Director James Ericson was also forced to resign after he was found to be culpable to the forced confession.

President Dorn has appointed Yukiko Ahles, a former district lawyer from Phoenixport, to lead the agency as a temporary director. Yukiko was seen entering the FIB headquarters, grim-faced with coffee in hand.

The agency remains in a tailspin as it is under several state and federal investigations over the false confession it coerced out of Ali Holmes.

Ali Holmes refused to speak to the press. He was given a police escort out of the jailhouse and returned to his place of residence earlier today.

Re: Mendell City Bugle

#145
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After A Struggle, Forensic Evidence For Odin Killings Smuggled To Detective Wildes - “We’re Closing In” Says Wildes
June 21st, 2460

On the day that Ali Holmes returned to the NSS Aurora, he became a periphery for a flashpoint that nearly ended in a riot engulfing the NSS Aurora.

A mysterious message was delivered electronically to an independent assembly of Aurora security personnel from an unknown IP. The message described the current theory of Odin’s Special Task Force that the Odin Killer has been using a maintenance ID card to maneuver throughout the Odin’s maintenance tunnels in order to avoid being
tracked by its cameras. The ID card was believed to have been hidden and stashed on the Aurora.

“The ID was from an Odin Maintenance Technician,” Detective Wildes told our reporters, “it was reported missing in late May. The technician in question reported it stolen after leaving it unattended in her purse at The Dream restaurant.”

An extensive hunt for the ID began on the 15th of June, after the murder of Chief Medical Officer Charlie Dove. It is around this time that the killer was believed to have hidden the ID on the Aurora in order to avoid detection.

When Ali Holmes returned to the Aurora on the 17th he had arrived just as the massive hunt was underway by Aurora security to find the ID. After two hours of searching the ID was finally found, but station command and crew were divided on what to do with it.

The Aurora’s Captain, LeChiffre, demanded that the forensic evidence be turned over to himself to be given to authorities. Other members of the crew, including a standing command staffer, conspired to smuggle the evidence off of the station under the nose of the Captain. The climax of this struggle saw someone allegedly slug Captain LeChiffre and a decoy ID card handed off.

The identities of the alledged conspirators have been censored from LeChiffre’s statement to the Bugle for legal reasons.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I do not deceive you and I am working my ways through the red tapes, I can safely assure you that the true culprit will be caught. Although, I was reminded of the news that it was not Ali Holmes being the culprit. So, it would seem to be true from one perspective; however, if we look to the other perspective, there is no doubt that Ali Holmes among conspirators [-----] and [-----] have intentionally hid the evidence from the Law and NanoTrasen and casted not only a larger liability but as well as legality issue on NanoTrasen’s part. Obviously, this tells us that Ali Holmes, [-----], and [-----] are to be conspirators with the true culprit behind the scene. [-----], [-----], Ali Holmes, if you are listening to this, I will be seeing you three in the court.”

It’s not clear if there will be any resulting legal battle between the crew members, and NanoTrasen’s CCIA have said they are “investigating the matter with due diligence” and have also remarked that they are unwilling to disclose details of active investigations.

Regardless of the circumstances, the missing Odin Maintenence Technician ID is now in the hands of Detective Wildes. Wildes, who was formerly an investigator in the joint Odin-FIB Task Force, is now leading a crime unit of exclusively NanoTrasen security staff.

Wildes gave a statement to the press in which he gave hope that the killer may soon be apprehended.

“The ID was processed in our lab within the days it was delivered to us. We have conclusive, firm forensic evidence that has narrowed our list of persons of interest considerably. I can’t disclose anything specific but know that things are moving very fast. We are entering into the final stage of this investigation. We are closing in on the killer.”

Re: Mendell City Bugle

#146
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Aurora Security Officer Found Dead on the Odin: Killer Retaliates Against Task Force As Odin Goes Into Blue Alert
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June 21st, 2460

The entire Odin has been thrown into blue alert and the whole B-13 business wing locked down as security scrambles in response to yet another brutal killing.

An Odin Representative has confirmed that Avery Bennet, Aurora Security Officer, was found dead only hours ago.

A security officer discovered the body in a publically accessible custodial closet just outside two restaraunts. The closet is tucked in the out-of-the-way hallway between The Dream exotic cuisine and its neighboring Wings And Steak buffet.

Detective Wildes was on scene and was heard remarking to the CSI team, “A few hours ago? Christ.”

Avery Bennet was born and raised on Earth. He attended university for 2 years studying law before dropping out to enlist into the Solarian Marine Corps. He was soon attached to the 33rd Fleet and was on various patrols and other missions across the Alliance. He served two tours at the edge of Alliance space on the Frontier and rose up to Corporal. He was given an honorable discharge at 30 and joined the NanoTrasen Security academy. He graduated and became a security officer shortly after cadetship was complete. By the time of his death he was training to become a Detective.

Because it is incredibly early in this investigation, we have few details as to the nature of Bennets death. So far witnesses say that Bennet was part of an “altercation” with an unidentified person outside The Dream before both of them stormed off towards the hallway. After that the unidentified person was seen leaving the area.

“All we have at the moment is that the person of interest was wearing a fedora and a black suit.”

Odin Security have said that they will be issuing a full description of the suspect “as soon as we get more information.”

This death has come mere hours after the Odin announced a breakthrough in the case. This has damaged the credibility of the independent investigation by the Odin. Panic has begun to spread through the space station.

Over a dozen shops and businesses have announced they will be closing “indefinitely”. Hundreds of retail workers on the Odin have been told to return home and will miss work.

All public tours of the Odin have been cancelled.

Hundreds of Odin custodial staff have been put on unpaid leave “for the duration for their own safety.”

A mandatory curfew of 7pm has been re-introduced; any visitors or residents in the halls after this time are subject to immediate search and/or detainment.

Odin Security have all been put on 14 hour shifts and every level will have at least two Officers on active duty “at all times.”

Hundreds of potential renters for Odin apartments have cancelled their contracts, and even more people are reportedly cancelling their rent agreements and moving off of the space station.

This ongoing situation has created a crisis for the station. One Odin Administrator expressed it as the entire facility “hemorrhaging credits”. Some analysts believe that if panic continues in regards to the serial murders, that the Odin may be deemed unviable for continued operation.

Re: Mendell City Bugle

#147
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Drea Mirmtar, Aurora Chef, Confessed Under Torture To Being Odin Killer
June 22nd, 2460
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When Drea Mirmtar stepped off the shuttle from the Aurora, she was battered, bruised, and shaken.

After the murder of Avery Benett, the NSS Aurora received a transmission from the NTCC Odin disclosing key details of the investigation and description of suspected Persons of Interest connected to the Avery Bennet murder. According to details provided by CCIA, the description of ‘possible suspects’ was being a Tajara of indeterminate gender with a black suit.

The Aurora Head of Security during the shift, Kalren Halstere, personally questioned Mirmtar. During questioning he is reported to have suddenly flown into a rage. He dramatically yanked Drea Mirmtar out of her chair and, at the climax of the incident, pointed a lethal laser pistol at her head. This caused the security department to explode into drama.

The Chief Medical Officer was present during the interrogation, and told reporters that he “saw Kalren holding Drea at gunpoint.” Fernando says he tried to talk Halstere down and entered the room. Halstere had already struck Drea twice when Fernando entered. During their tense talk Sean Richter knocked Kalren’s gun out of his hand in a rush. Dr. Gonzales administered fact acting sedatives to Drea, who in a panic picked up the dropped gun and shot the CMO before being subdued by other officers.

Drea Mirmtar was then seen being carried out of the brig in a stretcher for emergency surgery done by Dr. Gonzales himself after she suffered multiple broken bones and internal bleeding.

A Crime Scene Investigator, Garret Isaman, had been dispatched from the Odin to personally gather fingerprint cards from crew on behest of Odin Detective Wildes. He was present during the altercation and caught the following transcript on tape.

[00:20] Kalren Halstere yells, "Linerbord, she's a god-damned murderer!"
[00:21] Jack Kingston asks, "Holy fuck are you brain dead?"
[00:22] Trout says, "Clear the hall."
[00:22] Garret Isaman says, "Hello agent"
[00:23] Trout says, "Get out."
[00:24] Sean Richter says, "Halstre. We've gone through Hell together."
[00:25] Kalren Halstere exclaims, "She's a serial killer!"
[....]
[01:23] Rafaelle Macchi says, "The Head of Security is... attempting to execute the suspect it seems"
After being discharged from the medical lab, the Odin CSI Isaman personally escorted her to the bridge. He says he needed to take off her handcuffs to get her fingerprints out of the reach of the security department. Security Officer Sean Richter refused to allow Drea to be isolated from the internal security department and defied the Investigator’s wishes, entering the bridge and standing immediately next to Drea. Fearing for her life, when Drea was uncuffed she pulled out a cleaver she had kept from the kitchen and attacked Richter, who used a telescopic baton to subdue her as Isaman watched.

Drea Mirmtar then began confessing to all of the crimes that the Aurora ISD were charging her with. Members of ISD began congratulating each other for their victory.

At this time the Odin had responded to reports of the incident and summoned the CSI back to the Odin, and asked Drea to return with him on a command shuttle.

Drea Mirmtar remains under custody as the Odin is entering damage control mode. Detective Wildes gave a statement at a press conference where he faced incredibly angry questions and comments from the press and members of the public.

“What makes you people think that torture is acceptable?” Wildes was asked by one reporter.

“It never is,” Wildes responded, “what happened on that station does not represent the corporation. The people involved got emotional. All the victims worked on the Aurora.”

“At least the FIB didn’t torture Holmes when getting a false confession.” A reporter interrupted.

One of the fiercest criticisms is over the fact that Halstere allegedly continued to remain on Command and was not arrested after torturing Drea Mirmtar until he returned to the Odin on a crew transfer. The command response was described as “indifferent” to Dr. Gonzales calling for Halstere to be declared unfit for duty.

Wildes seemed especially haggard during the press conference, probably due to the fact that the arrest was meant to be the crowning achievement of the Odin’s own investigation. During the press conference he was completely unable to remain on script for his speech and after the conference e-mailed his prepared transcripts to our office.

The e-mail shows the entire case against Drea Mirmtar.

All victims that were killed all had a common, shared theme. All of them had eaten at Drea’s The Dream restaurant and had given especially negative reviews on online review apps or within the restaurant itself.

In addition, Drea had denied during questioning by the detective Trout before and after the torture that she ever owned a ‘Getmore Brand Serrated Kitchen Knife’ used to kill Charlie Dove. The specific brand of knife was not disclosed to the media.

Forensic analysis of the smuggled Odin Maintenance ID card revealed fibers belonging to a maintenance technician jumpsuit, a chef’s apron, and a security officer jumpsuit. The ID was find hidden behind a false wall on the Aurora, near the station’s kitchen where Drea worked.

These details lead Detective Wildes to hypothesis that Drea Mirmtar had stolen the ID from an Odin maintenance technician eating in her restaurant, and used it to travel within the tunnels and outside the security camera network. Drea was not seen at several of the crime scenes, but Wildes insists in his statements that being able to travel within Maintenance would ‘make her invisible’ as far as the network is concerned.

At least a dozen lawyers have announced that they will be creating a legal team defending Drea Mirmtar during the upcoming criminal trial against Mirmtar. Pretrial proceedings are already on an incredibly rocky start; legal analysts are unanimously suggesting that the use of torture against Drea will ‘invalidate basically everything from the prosecution’.

Kalren Halstere has been suspended indefinitely with pay, and is expected to face a court hearing for his actions.

Re: Mendell City Bugle

#148
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Drea Mirmtar Pre-Trial Sees Confession And Key Evidence Thrown Out: Aurora Crew Banned From Testifying
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June 24th, 2460

Today Judge Donald Harpman has thrown out major pieces of evidence in the Drea Mirmtar case after her defense team, lead by lawyer Scott Brown successfully argued a Motion to Suppress before the judge.

Mirmtar's defense team argued that the confession gained by the Aurora Internal Security Department was invalid due to 'incredible mishandling' of the interrogation and 'use of coercion'. The team then went one step further and argued that any statement made by Mirmtar while still on the Aurora was made under duress due to the pressure applied by the security department.

The Prosecution team is lead by Attorney Vaishnavi Deepti, a public lawyer who is working with prosecutors representing NanoTrasen and the Biesel government. The government has has brought 5 counts of murder, 2 counts of assault, and 1 count resisting arrest charges against Drea Mirmtar. They argued fiercely that since Drea Mirmtar confessed after she was already being handed over to the Odin official after repeatedly insisting her innocence even while being held hostage, that the statements were not made under duress at the specific time of their utterance.

Judge Harpman disagreed and dismissed the confession. In a written statement Harpman said "there was no reasonable method of ascertaining what statements were made while under duress at any point between being held hostage by Halstere to the point she was returned to the NTCC Odin, due to the omnipresence of at least one member of the security department who was culpable to the coercion. This is only reinforced by the frank, dismissive attitude the department and the rest of the present Command staff held in regards to the whole ordeal."

The ruling has also barred the prosecution and defense from bringing forth any witnesses from the NSS Aurora that were present at the time of the statements made by Mirmtar. Judge Harpman has ruled that only evidence directly gained by the Special Task Force assembled by the Odin and FIB will go forward to trial.

"There were severe legal issues with the handling of much evidence gained by 3rd party sources, contaminating their validity." Judge Harpman said.

Going forward the evidence cleared to go forward is incredibly diminished in its scope. The prosecution must make a case out of circumstantial evidence. The biggest cinch for the prosecution was Drea Mirmtar confesses that she did not use a Getmore serrated knife at any point in her life, when the details of what knife was used in the murder of Charlie Dove was never released to the public. The Odin Maintenence Technician ID with fibers that match Drea Mirmtar's uniform is also going forward to trial, despite being originally discovered on the Aurora, because of "exonerating circumstances."

There are also several witnesses that still remain for the trial that include Drea Mirmtar's kitchen staff, patrons, and Detective Wildes.

Mr. Brown, leading the defense team, has made a public statement that they have declined a plea bargain, and that Drea Mirmtar will face trial with a plea of Not Guilty.

"We are very confident that the prosecutions' case is going to disintegrate the moment it goes before the scrutiny of a jury", Brown said, "and we want to show beyond a reasonable doubt that Drea truly is innocent of the crimes heaped upon her. I think we are going to find that NanoTrasen's 'brave and professional' employees chose to viciously beat a woman for the crime of being nervous and awkward during an interrogation."

The case has gained attention from Tajara rights organizations within Tau Ceti, who have expressed concern about the treatment Drea received while in NanoTrasen custody.

"We came to Tau Ceti in part to escape the brutal behavior of police," said one Tajara who asked not to be named, "and it is very scary that we are seeing the same tactics used here. It is good that a judge can tell the government and big corporation of NanoTrasen that what they did was bad."

Re: Mendell City Bugle

#149
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LIVE FEED Drea Mirmtar Trial
UPDATE: LIVE FEED ENDED - MISTRIAL IMPENDING?
This feed updates LIVE from the Mendell City Hall of Justice.

9:30am - The opening day for the trial of Drea Mirmtar came with gray skies and a light rain. The entire court house is swarmed by cameras and press who converged for what is so far the most high profile criminal trial in Biesel history. Judge Donald Harpman gave an opening statement that he expected nothing but the utmost professionalism and integrity from both the prosecution and defense team, and reminded them that despite all the cameras this was "no time to make TV moments."

10:15am - Vaishnavi Deepti gave the opening statement as the prosecution. She portrayed Drea as a narcissistic sociopath and abusive monster to her employees at The Dream. She said that Mirmtar was so obsessed with her own self-image and the success of her restaurant that she felt it necessary to commit serial homicide against individuals that slighted her. Deepti told the 8 jurors that "she would do whatever it took to silence criticism - including brutal murder."

10:59am - Lawyer Scott Brown gave the opening statement for the defense. Mr. Brown laid out the timeline of events and pointed out that all of the evidence putting Mirmtar at each crime scene was 'wishful thinking' and 'circumstantial hearsay' on the part of the FIB and Odin Task Force. He suggested that Mirmtar was simply a socially awkward woman struggling to run a small business in a foreign country, where she was unfamiliar with the mannerisms of the aliens she lived with. He then spoke at length about how all of the evidence gathered by the prosecution was compromised, contaminated, and corrupted.

11:32am - The prosecution have brought out the first witness. Jack Kingston, a security officer on the Aurora. Despite the entire station being barred from being a witness, Kingston had encounters with Drea Mirmtar before the kidnapping incident. The questioning got off to a problematic start. Mr. Kingston said “Drea is a textbook sociopath” which gained a quick objection from the defense. Mr. Brown said Kingston had “no qualifications to make such a claim”. The judge upheld the objection and reminded Mr. Kingston to refrain from diagnosing Mirmtar. After this the questioning went more smoothly.
Kingston: “I soon realized that there were massive inaccuracies with her stories; the most critical flaw was in regards to the knives. After frequent visits with Drea I was able to pick up on the outfit changing; she switched out of a black suit as I arrived once for her restaurant; during one visit she told me she was unable to get new knives due to the investigation; this stood out to me and I asked why she needed new knives. Her response was that there are bones in a lot of the meals they cook and it chips their knives and makes them unable to sharpen; but if you get any experienced chef they can tell you that any knife made for such a job like a deboner is strong enough to saw through or slice bones”
This last comment got another objection from Mr. Brown, saying Kingston was begging the question. This objection was upheld, and Kingston was asked to not make claims of authority on how knives are used in kitchens.

Kingston concluded that Drea was losing knives due to them being murder weapons, she didn't want to bring the evidence back into work thus she was losing her stock of knives.

Mr. Brown questioned Kingston next. He asked why Kingston was claiming that Drea’s constant wear and tear on her knives was suspicious, when a knife was only used in one of the murders. He reminded Kingston that all victims except Charlie Dove had been strangled to death using a garrote wire.
Kingston: “Each victim had their tongue cut out.”

Brown: “You are claiming that human tongues can chip steel knives?”

Kingston: "No, they're incriminating pieces of evidence that keeping knives around the workplace that have been used for murder is a quick way to get caught -"

Brown: “Every knife in The Dream was marked in inventory and accounted for. There were no knives missing at any point from the kitchen, which is collaborated by the employees that work in the actual kitchen there. And forensics did not match any of the knives in the kitchen to any murder scene. So are you still sure that Mirmtar was taking knives from her kitchen to use in the murders, or were you jumping to assumptions based on what you wanted to be true?”

Deepti: Objection! This is a double barreled question.

Judge Harpman: “Sustained. Rephrase the question.”

Brown: “Do you remain confident that Mirmtar was using knives from her kitchen’s inventory?”

Kingston: " I remain confident that Drea said to me that she was running out of knives and was unable to buy more due to the fact it would look incriminating on her behalf.”
12:51pm - Prosecution has called their second witness: Sumerek Zver', an Odin Security Officer. Due to a disability Zver’ signed to an interpreter, who spoke on his behalf.
Zver through interpreter: "He had met miss Mirmtar when he had received a disturbance call from the Toolbox Tavern while on duty at the Odin. She was causing a ruckus by attempting to trespass into the Tavern's kitchen despite not being an employee, claiming she was lost. He found this a bit odd, seeing how most owners of a restaurant know where theirs are located and to oversee their establishment prior to opening to the public. Another odd thing was that when he had confronted her, she claimed to of have not killed the cook despite his not bringing such a thing up.

Deepti: ”Did you ever eat at The Dream?”

Zver through interpreter: “Indeed, on June 11th. She appeared resentful of him because of the previous incident, and he had intended to apologize to the woman for possibly embarrassing her. She had since calmed down, but continued to treat him as racially inferior, which is not uncommon for him. However, miss Mirmtar then asked him, a stranger, if he could spare a knife for her.”

Deepti: “Did she say why she wanted to borrow a knife?”

Zver through interpreter: “She had claimed that a thief had stolen her favorite knife from her kitchen and wanted a replacement, but that the Odin’s quartermaster was refusing to process any such orders for knives.”

Deepti: “She said a knife was MISSING?”

Zver through interpreter: “Yes, ma’am. But no such reports of a break in or accused employees were made when he later went home to check reports, and see if he could catch the theif or possibly get the original back."

Deepti: "What type of knife did Mirmtar ask for?"

Zver: through interpreter: "Miss Mirmtar did not specify which kind."
1:25pm - Drea has been called back up to the witness stand. The Prosecution is pressing her hard on why she gave separate stories to different people about her knives. The inventory done by The Dream’s staff on their tools showed no missing knives, so Drea may have lied about the knives going missing and falsified the inventory.
Deepti: “Why did you lie about your knives?”

Brown: “Objection! She’s leading the witness.”

Judge Harpman: “Sustained. Rephrase your question.”

Deepti: “Mirmtar, did you ever tell Kingston that you were missing knives?

Drea: “Drea never said that she needed knives to Jack. He was tipsy every time she spoke to him, so he might be confused. The darlin' always had vodka in his hand.”

Deepti: “So no knife was ever missing from your inventory?

Drea: “She did lose a cheese knife, but she got it back from one of her staff a few hours after she had asked that darling Zhan.”

Deepti: “Why did you not have your staff update the kitchen inventory to account for the missing knife?”

Drea: “It was just a knife to slice cheese, and she got it replaced on the same day when we only do inventory every wednesday. It is different where this one comes from - we all share. It was even the same type of knife, so she didn’t see the harm.”
1:55pm - Prosecution has called employees of Mirmtar’s restaurant as witnesses. Many of them are undocumented and need to speak through an interpreter since they don’t speak basic. So far they are all collaborating Drea’s story, affirming that only one knife was ever temporarily lost, and then replaced. Defense has pointed out that the knife does NOT match the ones used in any crime scene, since they are not serrated.

2:59pm - Defense has shifted to arguing about the Odin Maintenance Technician ID that was found on the Aurora. The Prosecution has doubled down on the importance of the card, which had fibers from a black suit and a chef’s uniform. Allegedly Mirmtar pickpocketed the Maintenance Technician, Debbie Thames, who was eating at the restaurant at the time, with the ID in her purse.

4:12pm - They have just called Ahkurl Azankija to the stand. She works as a waitress at The Dream. She’s undocumented and has to speak through a Siik to Basic translator. She was the one serving the Maintenance Technician Hogan at the time the ID was allegedly stolen.
Defense Lawyer Brown: “Did you personally see Drea Mirmtar steal the ID from the Technician's purse when she took the Technician's bill to her?"

Azankija [through interpreter]: “She did not….”

Brown: “But it was the same table that you were waiting?”

Azankija [through interpreter]: “Yes. she was waiting the table and not Mirmtar.”

Brown: “But you just said that Mirmtar was the one that took the bill to the table. Did you or did you not see Drea bring the bill to Ms. Thames?”

Azankija [through interpreter]: “She doesn’t know.”

Brown: “You do not know if you saw her take the bill to the table?”

Azankija [through interpreter]: “She doesn’t... She wasn’t told what to say to this.”

Brown: “Told??? Did someone tell you what to say to my questions?”

Prosecutor Deepti: “Objection! He’s leading the witness!”

Judge Harpman: Overruled. [To Azankija] If someone coached you on what to say to these questions, that is a very serious offense. You need to make sure you are 100% honest with us right now. Did someone coach you about the questions you'll be facing?”

Azankija [through interpreter]: “She was.... She was pulled aside and told that if she did not say so-and-so to such-and-such questions, that they would see her and her kits deported back to Adhomai. This is what they do in courts on Adhomai so she just did it. She was scared. She doesn’t want to go back to Adhomai.”

Judge Harpman: “I understand. You will not be in trouble if you were coerced. Can you tell me who coached you?”

Azankija [through interpreter]: “They’re in the courtroom right now.”

Judge Harpman: “Really??? Can you point them out?”

Azankija [through interpreter]: “You are honest she will not be in trouble?”

Judge Harpman: “It is in your best interest to be completely honest with me.”
4:52pm - Azankija hesitated, then pointed at Prosecutor Deepti. The entire courtroom has just erupted into chaos. People are shouting. Deepti is screaming objections. The judge is hammering the gavel and shouting for order.

4:53pm - The judge just called a recess. The entire court is adjourned for the day. The bailiffs are escorting everyone one out of the courtroom and Drea is being escorted back to the holding area. I am reciting this live as we are all leaving.

5:12pm - Harpman has summoned both the prosecution and defense to go over the bombshell accusations of witness tampering. If the claims turn out to be true then the entire case could be thrown out. Deepti denied the accusations to assembled cameras on the steps to the court house.

“I have no idea why the witness said that. There is clearly a plot to sow discord in our case. Whomever orchestrated this plot, I cannot say.”

6:21pm - Leading Tajara Rights organizations have issued strong statements of condemnation over the accusations of witness tampering. They are saying it is deeply troubling that a city prosecutor would threaten Tajara refugees with deportation to force them to make coerced statements in court.

“The tactics allegedly used by Prosecutor Deepti are exactly the methods used by the People’s Republic of Adhomai in their rigged courts,” said one anonymous Tajara rights leader, “this is bringing back memories of Adhomai. This one is now confident that Drea is just being used as a scapegoat. There is no justice here, that is for sure. Perhaps this one should move back to Adhomai, where at least everyone is honest about justice being fake.”

Re: Mendell City Bugle

#150
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Sol Ban Continues, Refugees Flood Tau Ceti
The decision of Sol Alliance to ban Tajara immigration still sends shockwaves out to the known space, most recently aboard the NSS Aurora.
On the 28th of June a shuttle registered to a human fabric trader named Mirvan Spietzstein had entered the space near the Romanovich Cloud, passing all security checks and identification marks it was on its way out of the system when an unknown shuttle was suddenly detached from the space freighter and began heading straight for the Nanotrasen Research Station, Aurora.
“We always begin with a scan before we send out any drones and it paid off in this case,” comments drone operator Joshua Spitzrite.

Indeed as the unknown shuttle wasn’t a bomb but in fact an auto-piloted shuttle housing 6 Tajara refugees, three men, two women and one underage teen. One of the male Tajara was found dead on arrival, having suffocated due to the lack of oxygen.
The NSS Aurora and its crew had done their best to accommodate, treat and properly log all of the Tajara refugees even if it does not fare with standard protocol.
Later the rogue shuttle was seen violently ejecting from the landing port and crashing into a nearby asteroid, this time empty.

However drama had ensued as one of the Tajara, identified as Ameer Al-Sesay, discharged multiple shots from his illegally acquired handgun which he had hidden in an unknown storage area on his body.
Names of the officers in-charge during that crisis are being withheld for privacy and safety reasons however Nanotrasen officials have assured us appropriate actions would be taken.
The victim of the shootout, Evangeline Du Dancion, stated;
“I am not angry about getting shot, accidentally. I even sympathize with the man…”
Miss Evangeline Du Dancion was a Chief Engineer aboard the NSS Aurora, at the time tasked with building a temporary shelter for the refugees.
Further she added, ”…I’d probably reach for my gun as well.”

However slip-ups like these are multiplying in number as Tau Ceti officials struggle to process refugees which now rush to Tau Ceti, their entrance to Sol being refused, the authorities of Mars had reported similar issues.

But we remain positive as more and more refugees are being accepted into our system and showered with love, understanding and technology which they most likely never dreamt of.

One of these being the 17 year old Koskov Al-Sesay, an aspiring computer wizard and a nephew of the shooter,
"Koskov feels, this might be better than his families intended destination of Detroit ... There is so much more here for a Tajara than he hears of Sol, and he sees people that are like him! The people are so kind, they fixed his families wounds, and he was given compassion ... He wants to make this his home ..."
The government of Sol refuses to comment on the current immigration issues.

PLAY: Khaled Al-Bastaki adressing yesterdays crisis.
Spoiler:
Khaled can be seen sitting at the conference room. A number of officials and reporters spread around the room. He is wearing a navy blue uniform, a version associated to his position as Head of Security, his cap on the table, the Nanotrasen emblem visible and aimed towards the cameras. He rises, clears his throat and begins speaking. The camera's focus on him, reports recording, flashes flicking as photographs are taken.

“Assalam aleikum, I hope you’re all well today.

To the unaware, and those that will see this. My name is Khaled Al-Bastaki, a Head of Security, responsible of the security operations onboard the NSS Aurora, and in this case, also previously responsible for the supposed refugees.”

Khaled takes a second to glance about, clearing his throat again and continues.


“I would like to address the concerns raised towards the crew of the NSS Aurora, the company and the government of Biesel. It is my responsibility, as the leading security figure onboard at the time, to ensure the safety of the crew and the installation, along with all traffic going through, including visitors, and in this case, undocumented ones.”

The camera zooms in on his face as he speaks. He peers down momentarily, going over a piece of paper placed on the table. Paying attention may show signs of fatigue and tiredness on his face.


“Any mistakes concerning my team or procedural mishaps are mine to bear. For that, I am responsible for any accidents that have occured, and once more, sympathize with those affected. I can only say, considering the uncertainty of this situation, and novelty of it, that I only approached this with the highest level of commitment and expectations put upon me by the company, that I only gave it my best. And I hope everyone can understand that.

I would like to the credit the stationed Captain at the time, Victoria Kincaid. They have shown a level of compassion, respect and composure as befitting a person of their position, and that of a human being. They have not once shunned them. They have afforded them every privilege possible. Food, shelter, comfort, compassion, rest, medical aid, entertainment, and even offered to cover their expenses personally. She provided them with everything just to make them feel normal, to make them feel safe. For that, I wish to express my thanks to have had the privilege to work under her leadership.

To end all this. I wish to express a personal apology, our security staff, who voluntarily did their best to accommodate, treat and house the refugees properly expressed great selfless behaviour. This selflessness displayed by our team led to some choices which could be called into question as too risky, and I bear full responsibility for these actions. I wish you all well.

For greatness, we strive. ”

With the utterance of the last statement, Khaled sits down. The room begins to fill with voices as the video ends.

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