Truth & Reconciliation Commission

The place for conducting intraregional relations or just hanging out with other national leaders. [In-Character]
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Re: Truth & Reconciliation Commission

Post by Lauchenoiria » Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:24 pm

"Yes," Sheridan answered without hesitation. "It wouldn't exactly make sense to treat them the same, they're different and have different needs. And under Kerlian law, there is no obligation to." She seemed surprised at the question, like the concept of treating men and women the same was alien to her. She was, nevertheless, relieved that the questions seemed over for the time being.

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Re: Truth & Reconciliation Commission

Post by Sanctaria » Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:27 pm

"Indeed. Thank you." Churcher wrote some more information down on her pad.

"Mr. Arenas, the accusations of torture you levy at the hands of the Kerlians has been rebutted as self-inflicted or as a result of fighting within the POW camps. You allege that female POWs had brainwashing attempts and that male POWs were forbidden even basic human needs such as using the bathroom - can you go into more detail, with a little more evidence. What do the medical records of the POWs say - I imagine they were examined upon repatriation?"

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Re: Truth & Reconciliation Commission

Post by Lauchenoiria » Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:42 pm

"They were, yes," Arenas replied. "And it is quite conclusive. The medical records show that various individuals were subjected to extended periods of starvation, especially among female POWs who have reported being subjected to brainwashing techniques. Extreme levels of weight loss were recorded in multiple cases. Male POWs, upon return, were often dressed in, well," he coughed a little, "soiled clothing due to the lack of bathroom facilities. As for the scars, the doctors who examined POWs upon repatriation have all agreed the vast majority were not self inflicted, and it is unlikely a prisoner could have been subjected to quite such a rigorous beating as would have been required by other prisoners unless the Kerlians were particularly negligent in their duties of care."

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Re: Truth & Reconciliation Commission

Post by Sanctaria » Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:44 pm

"Thank you Mr. Arenas", Churcher said. "Do you know the Kerlian national anthem?"

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Re: Truth & Reconciliation Commission

Post by Lauchenoiria » Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:46 pm

"Uh," Arenas said, looking confused, "I've heard the tune at a baseball match but I'm unfamiliar with the words."

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Re: Truth & Reconciliation Commission

Post by Sanctaria » Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:48 pm

"But would you say that it's not inconceivable that some of the female POWs would be aware of the Kerlian national anthem? That is, their being able to recite it today may not necessarily be strong evidence of brainwashing or torture." Churcher peered at him with her dark brown eyes.

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Re: Truth & Reconciliation Commission

Post by Lauchenoiria » Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:53 pm

"Well, it is possible, yes," Arenas conceded, "however with the additional evidence of starvation and the scars, it is fairly clear that these individuals were indeed mistreated, at the very least."

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Re: Truth & Reconciliation Commission

Post by Sanctaria » Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:08 pm

"I see". Her eyes darted across the room and locked squarely with Sheridan's. "Ms. Sheridan - have you seen these photographs?" Before the cases began, all briefs were forwarded to Churcher and Commission staff. For this particular case, there were many photographs and medical records of POWs before and after the war, for comparison's sake. Churcher now was brandishing a photograph which appeared to contain a highly emaciated young woman.

"According to the medical report on this young woman, for example, though it's hardly needed as I can see clearly from the picture, there are dozens of electrical burns, her head has been partially shaved, and the part that hasn't is infested with lice. She clearly has not eaten, or at least has not been fed adequately for weeks. I can't tell when a bruise ends and dirt begins, but the accompanying report tells me that the level of internal bleeding contributing to the bruises suggest beating with a blunt instrument, likely the butt of a rifle. And it looks like this poor girl had a manacle around her neck, judging by the impression left behind - the doctor who compiled this report suggests likely she was chained to a wall. Her ears are bleeding, with traces of her own skin and that same blood underneath what's left of her fingernails - like she was trying to stop listening to a noise she couldn't stop."

"Ms. Sheridan, you say incidents like this happened because of in-fighting between POWs - how? Did you give some keys and not others? Did some have guns? Music? Did this POW simply hate the choice of music being played by another?"

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Re: Truth & Reconciliation Commission

Post by Lauchenoiria » Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:23 pm

Sheridan looked away, avoiding the photograph. "Well, uh, clearly this woman has had some, uh, unfortunate experiences. A number of POWs attempted a hunger strike while in Kerlile, so inadequate nutrition could easily have been self-inflicted in her case. As for the rest, if she had attempted escape it is possible she sustained injuries while being apprehended. And as I detailed earlier, a number of prisoners engaged in self-injurious behaviour, which would explain the ears. There's no real evidence she was subjected to excessive noise."

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Re: Truth & Reconciliation Commission

Post by Sanctaria » Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:26 pm

"Thank you Ms. Sheridan - one last thing from you, if I may", Churcher began, "could you please, in detail, list how male and female POWs were treated, highlighting specifically the differences."

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Re: Truth & Reconciliation Commission

Post by Lauchenoiria » Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:33 pm

"Well, naturally there are some things female POWs were supplied with that males were not - sanitary products, for example. I'm sure nobody can fault us for neglecting to give feminine hygiene products to men! There were more bathroom facilities for female POWs, as a result of biological needs. Which I'm told is common in public bathrooms in other nations too, for female bathrooms to be larger. Female POWs were also given slightly more entertainment, and the opportunity to learn more, if desired about Kerlian culture. Those were the main differences in treatment," Sheridan finished, then exhaled, relieved that it was over.

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Re: Truth & Reconciliation Commission

Post by Sanctaria » Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:35 pm

"Thank you", Churcher said, nodding at the Clerk who then promptly stood and cleared his throat:

"We will now hear TRC-A-04, Lauchenoiria et al v. Greenwood. Mr Arenas you will be speaking for the entire prosecutory team, correct?"

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Re: Truth & Reconciliation Commission

Post by Lauchenoiria » Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:03 pm

“That is correct, yes,” began Tomás Arenas. “At the time of the Second Lauchenoirian Civil War, Joanna Greenwood was President of Kerlile and oversaw the mistreatment and murder of prisoners of war, as detailed in the case against Kerlile. As President of Kerlile, and Commander-in-Chief of the Kerlian military, she was responsible for the atrocities carried out by Kerlile.

President Greenwood had access to all the information about the treatment of prisoners, and – even if she did not order the torture herself in the first place – could have given the order to stop the torture and mistreatment at any point. She neglected to do so, and therefore is culpable in the mistreatment, torture and murder of prisoners in Kerlian care.

It is unknown who ordered the torture of prisoners, however Greenwood could have, at any point, put a stop to it. The mistreatment of prisoners from Lauchenoiria, Laeral, Libertas Omnium Maximus, Conternia, Skoden and Slokais happened as a result of Greenwood’s policies allowing torture on Kerlian soil, and was a disgrace.

Greenwood has since resigned as President of Kerlile, however her actions as president were deplorable. Whether through deliberate action or inaction, Joanna Greenwood is responsible for the deaths and torture that occurred in Kerlile during the conflict, and must be held accountable for the actions of those under her command.”

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Re: Truth & Reconciliation Commission

Post by Sanctaria » Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:07 pm

Churcher said nothing, just motioned to the clerk to call for the defence. "Ahem", he began, "Ms. Sheridan, are you for defence on this also?"

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Re: Truth & Reconciliation Commission

Post by Lauchenoiria » Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:18 pm

When Irene Sheridan had begun her career in law, she had never anticipated having to defend a former President of Kerlile. When she had spoken to President Greenwood back in Kerlile, she had been in awe, but was also fully aware of the responsibility she had.

“Yes, I am representing several, though not all, of the Kerlians accused. Your honour, my client Joanna Greenwood is not guilty of the charges laid out by my Lauchenoirian counterpart. As I laid out earlier, torture and mistreatment of prisoners did not happen in Kerlile, so President Greenwood could not have condoned something which did not happen.

However, let us suppose torture and mistreatment did take place. There is absolutely no evidence that it was widespread, or state-sanctioned. Indeed, the reports Greenwood received on the treatment of prisoners all suggested they were being treated well. If these reports were false, my client was unaware.

At no point did President Greenwood order the torture or murder of any prisoners. If any such things happened, it was without her knowledge or permission, and if she had known, she would have put an immediate stop to it.”

Sheridan took her seat, smiling at Tomás Arenas, who appeared disconcerted to see a Kerlian woman initiate eye contact with him – which was, of course, her goal.

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Re: Truth & Reconciliation Commission

Post by Sanctaria » Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:22 pm

Churcher nodded and asked for the clerk to call the next case. No questions from the bench this time.

Again the clerk's voice was the only one resonating in the large room, "TRC-A-05, Lauchenoiria v. Casci next please. Prosecution's statement?"

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Re: Truth & Reconciliation Commission

Post by Lauchenoiria » Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:59 pm

Eyeing Sheridan suspiciously, Tomás Arenas stood. He was somewhat taken aback when the Kerlian had looked him right in the eye – from what he’d read on Kerlian culture, a Kerlian woman only looked a man in the eye for one of two reasons: either she likes him, or it’s a threat. Either way, it terrified him.

“Your honour, Lucia Casci was Kerlian Secretary of Defence at the time of the Second Lauchenoirian Civil War, and was therefore responsible for the Kerlian war effort. In her position, she oversaw numerous war crimes, including the aforementioned torture, and the terrorising of civilians through the kidnapping of numerous civilian males in Yervia and Ulinaria provinces.

The majority of these were children whose parents had been killed or taken prisoner in the war. The boys later appeared alone in the vicinity of the Kerlile-Lauchenoiria border, disoriented and distressed. Numerous witnesses have described seeing boys forcibly dragged away by Kerlian soldiers, and several incidents were caught on CCTV cameras by Lauchenoirian businesses. Casci has since admitted to giving the order, without the permission of the President or Council. She claims that Kerlile was merely removing the children from the areas most affected by the war.

Casci is also responsible for overseeing the Kerlian war effort in Lauchenoiria, and is therefore directly responsible for the decision to forcibly transport POWs to Kerlile, along with the decision to interrogate and torture prisoners upon capture. She is one of several individuals responsible for the various atrocities carried out by Kerlile throughout the war.”

*

Irene Sheridan, who was responsible for the defence of every Kerlian except Charissa Clarke and Jennifer Hale, continued to make eye contact with Arenas as she stood, enjoying the way it knocked him slightly off guard.

“Your honour, my client Lucia Casci pleads guilty to the charges. She accepts full responsibility for any improper actions carried out by the Kerlian military during the conflict in Lauchenoiria, and admits that she was in command of the Kerlian forces at the time.”

When Sheridan had met with Casci, the woman had been quite subdued. Casci had informed Sheridan that she intended to plead guilty almost immediately. Sheridan knew for a fact that the Council hadn’t coerced her at that time, so either Casci was pre-empting them, trying to get out of the country, or genuinely felt guilt. Whatever the reason, it made Sheridan’s job easier, and she was relieved.

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Re: Truth & Reconciliation Commission

Post by Sanctaria » Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:07 pm

This time it was Churcher who spoke. "The Court notes the defendant's plea of guilty. We thank her for her forthrightness and it will be taken into account when sentencing. Clerk?"

The small man bowed and called the next case. "Ahem, TRC-A-06, Lauchenoiria v. Patel please. Prosecution?"

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Re: Truth & Reconciliation Commission

Post by Lauchenoiria » Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:46 pm

If there was any Kerlian who deserved punishment the most, Arenas thought, it was the notoriously cruel Councillor Anita Patel.

“Your honour,” he began, “Councillor Anita Patel is the Kerlian Councillor who has primary control over prisons and the justice system, among other things. Her remit includes overseeing the treatment of all prisoners held on Kerlian soil, including the POWs transported to Kerlile against their will during the conflict. She is therefore one of the people responsible for the crimes carried out against them.

As stated in the case against Kerlile, POWs were tortured and deprived of food, adequate sanitation and adequate shelter. Councillor Patel, as the person ultimately responsible for the welfare of prisoners in Kerlile is responsible for orchestrating the mistreatment of POWs. It is unthinkable that this happened without her knowledge.

Councillor Patel is known to be a public supporter of the use of torture as an interrogation technique. It is likely that she was the individual responsible for ordering the torture of POWs upon capture. Patel was the Kerlian Councillor nominated to oversee the war effort for the Council of Kerlile, which as we all know, is the supreme authority in Kerlile. She is therefore one of the people responsible for every atrocity committed in the name of Kerlile.”

*

The first time Irene Sheridan had met Councillor Patel, she had wanted to run out of the room. The Councillor was intimidating. Which was part of the reason Sheridan was so determined not to mess this one up.

“Your honour, Councillor Anita Patel is not guilty of the crimes she is accused of. The Lauchenoirian counsel has no evidence at all. There is no evidence that Councillor Patel knew of any ‘torture’ or mistreatment. The claim that Councillor Patel is responsible for the welfare of prisoners in Kerlile is only partly true – her remit does not extend to prisoners of war, that was the purview of Lucia Casci.

Councillor Patel’s role on the Council as the Councillor nominated to oversee the war effort has also been misrepresented. In this role, Councillor Patel was the recipient of reports given to the Council by those actively involved in the war effort, she played no part in the war effort herself. The Council chose to focus on domestic matters throughout the conflict, they have no role in this.

As for statements made by Councillor Patel on the subject of interrogation techniques, the political views of Councillor Patel are quite irrelevant to the matter at hand. Personal statements by Councillor Patel do not reflect the policies of the Matriarchy of Kerlile as a whole.”

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Re: Truth & Reconciliation Commission

Post by Sanctaria » Fri Jul 19, 2019 5:24 pm

"Mr Arenas", Churcher said quietly, "you mention that the defendant has voiced support publicly for torture - could you elaborate please?" She glanced at Sheridan, "I'm afraid I disagree very much that her personal views are irrelevant".

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Re: Truth & Reconciliation Commission

Post by Lauchenoiria » Fri Jul 19, 2019 5:35 pm

"Councillor Patel has, on several occasions, given statements to the Kerlian News Service, in which she has publicly opposed a ban on torture," Arenas said, looking down at the paper in front of him and searching for the quote, "calling one a 'threat to the continued existence of the matriarchy'. She has also publicly condemned peaceful protests against torture which have taken place in Kerlile. Anti-torture protestors in Kerlile are often arrested, and Councillor Patel has supported this course of action, as detailed in Kerlile's own news broadcasts."

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Re: Truth & Reconciliation Commission

Post by Sanctaria » Fri Jul 19, 2019 5:37 pm

Churcher motioned for the paper and it was passed along to her. After a brief moment reading, she turned her attention to Irene Sheridan. "Ms. Sheridan, can you please tell me about the Council of Kerlile and the power and influence of Councillors on it, including those with a specific brief?"

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Re: Truth & Reconciliation Commission

Post by Lauchenoiria » Fri Jul 19, 2019 5:44 pm

"The Council of Kerlile is the supreme authority in Kerlile," Sheridan began. "They have the power to appoint or recall the President - though the President has more power than any individual Councillor, she answers to the Council as a whole. Every Councillor is equal on the Council, though some Councillors take responsibility for specific areas of interest. More than one Councillor can share an area, for example, both Councillors Hale and Georgiou are responsible for international trade - along with the Minister for International Trade, presently Ines Abbott, who is appointed by the President. At the moment, only Councillor Patel is in charge of justice on the Council, so she shares responsibility for it along with the Justice Minister Monika Hardie, also appointed by the President. The Council can make laws for Kerlile without approval of the Parliament, or they can veto laws passed by the Parliament. It is therefore the most powerful institution in Kerlile."

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Re: Truth & Reconciliation Commission

Post by Sanctaria » Sat Jul 20, 2019 12:34 pm

Churcher nodded as Sheridan spoke. "Yes, that was my understanding too. Thank you. Clerk, the next case please."

The clerk solemnly asked for the prosecution team for TRC-A-07, Lauchenoiria v. Pierre to issue their statement.

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Re: Truth & Reconciliation Commission

Post by Lauchenoiria » Sat Jul 20, 2019 1:35 pm

Tomás Arenas rose, eyeing Sheridan confidently.

“Your honour, Councillor Pauline Pierre is responsible for the attempt by the Matriarchy of Kerlile to covertly annex Lauchenoiria by installing their sleeper agent, Charissa Clarke, as Prime Minister of Lauchenoiria. Leaked documents proving the existence of the Kerlian sleeper agent training programme known as the ‘Aurora Programme’ showed also that the Pierre family have run the programme since its inception.

Two bundles of documents from Kerlile were released by an anonymous source, of which the second leak named Councillor Pierre as the responsible party behind the Aurora Programme, and the Councillor who initially suggested ‘activating’ Clarke. The documents include a formal transcript from a Council of Kerlile session in which Pierre suggests the Council ‘activate an Aurora in Lauchenoiria and put an end to this’ – ‘this’ referring to the previous discussion on Kerlian refugees fleeing across the southern border.

The documents conclusively link the Aurora Programme to the Pierre family, and in particular the present Councillor Pierre, including the uncensored, classified lists of the responsibilities of each Councillor – on which it clearly lists Councillor Pierre as having primary responsibility for ‘the Aurora Programme, intelligence gathering and covert operations.’

Acting on Pierre’s orders, Clarke goaded Suleman Chaher into attempting a coup in Lauchenoiria, and then killed him in order to take his place. This was a blatant attempt by the Kerlian government to covertly annex Lauchenoiria, as Clarke answered directly to the Council. Councillor Pierre was behind this attempt.”

*

“Your honour, the words of Mr. Arenas are pure fiction,” Sheridan began. “This so-called sleeper agent training programme does not exist. The documents are a fabrication, leaked by Councillor Carmen Robinson in an attempt to frame and discredit Councillor Pierre due to a family feud which began when Robinson’s grandmother attempted to overthrow Councillor Pierre’s grandmother as President of Kerlile in 1983.

The Aurora Programme named in the documents refers to a measure to improve educational opportunities for orphans in Kerlile, and is nothing to do with espionage. The documents have been both edited and misrepresented to imply that the Aurora Programme is something nefarious, when in actual fact it is a humanitarian measure.

As to whether or not the girl named in a birth certificate enclosed in these leaks, Amanda Cartwright, grew up to become Charissa Clarke, I do not know – it is entirely possible that the young Amanda was taken illegally across the border to Lauchenoiria. It is long established that Lauchenoiria is more than willing to harbour various fugitives from Kerlian justice, who often take their children with them on their illegal crossings.

To suggest that Councillor Pierre ordered Clarke to infiltrate and take over the Lauchenoirian government is laughable. Clarke has been a member of the Lauchenoirian Communist Party since before Pauline Pierre was a Councillor. Councillor Pierre has had no contact with anyone in Lauchenoiria during her time as Councillor. To suggest a transcript – which cannot be official, as official transcripts of Council sessions are not permitted to leave the Council Chamber – in which Councillor Pierre made a nonsense comment is some kind of ‘evidence’ is absurd.

Councillor Pauline Pierre is not guilty of the charges laid before this court, as they are complete fabrications. None of the events stated by the Lauchenoirian counsel occurred in the way he has represented.”

With that, Irene Sheridan sat back down, eyeing Arenas and being disappointed that it no longer unnerved him.

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