The Empire vs. Thomas de Cumagne

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The Empire vs. Thomas de Cumagne
Coat of Arms of the Court of Justice.png
[[Imperial Supreme Court]]
Argued 28 October, 2017
Decided 01 March, 2018
Full case name The Empire, v. Thomas of Cumagne, Former Imperial Chancellor.
Holding
Defendents cleared of all charges and lifted ban on the Fascist ideology.
Panel membership
Wilhelm von und zu Hochbach, Palatine of the Court of Justice
Case opinions

The Empire vs. Thomas de Cumagne was a landmark Imperial Supreme Court case which resulted in a decision against Thomas of Cumagne after his proved participation the "Malaise de Cumagne".

The Case[edit | edit source]

The Emperor-King, through the prosecutor on behalf of the interests of the Karno-Ruthenian Empire, His Serene Highness, Archduke Anton of Karnia, presented denounce against Thomas de Cumagne, former Imperial Chancellor of the Empire, accusing the defendant of the crimes of acting against national security, undermining the government, attempting against the Emperor, offending citizen, defaming national citizen, hacking virtual property of government, offending the State and its institutions, controlling fictitious profile to act surreptitiously against the State, bad conducting as government official and member of the public administration. In addition, the prosecutor requested a decision on the nationality of the ten Cumagne nationals.

The investigation presided over by the prosecutor on behalf of the Empire, ended on 28 October 2017, when the initial petition was delivered (pp. 2/11). The main arguments of the prosecution were the behavior of the defendant about the Emperor's requests and questions about the problems faced in the forum, as well as his continuous unwillingness to accept to transfer to the said Emperor the bakcup of the old domain, as well as the creation of a new forum to replace the old one, and for this was presented evidence of the conversation between the parties to the proceedings (pp. 2/7). The prosecution also presented evidence of the fall of the old forum (p. 8), which occurred after the defendant was dismissed, who had been accused of manipulating it for the sake of vested interests, as well as evidence of the origin of the old email, said hacked by the defendant, which indicated the place where he resides and was being used in the defamation campaign promoted by the defendant against the Empire and the Emperor (pp. 8/9).

The defendant was notified (p. 13) and filed his defense on the same day (pp. 14/19). The main arguments of the defense were that the content of the conversation presented in evidence by the prosecution was misunderstood in the sense of the defendant wanting to weaken the Emperor, and for that he presented fragment of previous conversation (p. 14), that there is nothing abnormal in the email sent by Ms. Kari, even the email being of the defendant, and that his interest in the state company he sought was purely civic and patriotic, and that his unwillingness about the creation of a new forum was only due to a natural disappointment in seeing a project of his direct participation be replaced (p. 14/15). The defense further alleged that the defendant did not violate the Constitution, as had been said in the indictment, by proposing a legal reform to the administration of the member states; that the defendant did not write the defamatory article whose authorship was reputed to him in the prosecution, since its true author is a person who is not citizen of Cumagne and whose therefore the defendant has no influence (p. 15). The defense also claims that the forum was taken off the air to sell the domain and thus cover the defendant's expenses (page 15); presented evidence of the official email containing information indicating that the Emperor was in fact the architect behind the so-called false war (pp. 15/16), and for this the defense presented evidence of his conversation with the Emperor of when the defendant had initially questioned about the war (pp. 17/18); and presented evidence of the registration of administrative activities of the old forum, which indicates that it was the Emperor who close it with the intention of accusing the defendant (p. 19).

During the stage of procedural instruction, none of the parties to the proceedings presented witnesses. An expert report was also required (p. 20) to clarify the technical information contained in the indictment and defense. The report was delivered on 20 December 2017 (p.22), and translated into English on 21 December 2017 (pp. 24/25). The defendant was heard (pp. 37/45), and the plaintiff waived his right to be heard (pp. 30/31). During his interrogation, the defendant clarified points about the accusation of unconstitutionality of his bill, stating that it was only a project and that was unofficially sent to the Emperor and that he did not know that the Constitution prohibited state constitutions for each administrative unit (pp. 40/42); that offered his resignation due to distrust of the accusations made against him (p. 39); that despite the expert's report about the technical evidences offered, the address of the email considered hacked would have been altered via VPN, and that he had no access to it (p. 43).

The final allegations were required on 30 January 2018 (p. 46), and both parties to the proceedings entered into preclusion of this procedural act (p. 49).

The Indictments[edit | edit source]

The indictments were for:

  1. Crime of acting against National Security.
  2. Undermining the Imperial and Royal Government.
  3. Attempting against the Emperor.
  4. Offending citizen.
  5. Defaming national citizen.
  6. Hacking virtual property of the Imperial and Royal Government.
  7. Offending the State and its institutions.
  8. Controlling fictitious profile to act surreptitiously against the State.
  9. Bad conducting as government official and member of the public administration.

The Trial[edit | edit source]

Prejudicial issues[edit | edit source]

The nationality of the defendant was not a preliminary issue of the case, since it has no power to prevent the continuance of the trial or the knowledge of the case by the Imperial Supreme Court. Considering that the defendant was undoubtedly a Karno-Ruthenian citizen at the time of the accusation of the crimes, he was subject to the jurisdiction of the Judiciary Power of this Empire even though outside the national territory (art. 1 of the Criminal Code). Furthermore, even if he were not a citizen at the time of the crimes, the principle of territoriality as set out in the Criminal Code states that all individuals in Karno-Ruthenian territory, irrespective of the time and reason for their stay, are subject to its law.

Thus, the discussion of the nationality of the defendant was a prejudicial issue that determines the content of the execution of the judgment, but not the very existence of the proceedings. Moreover, since the matter in question was internal to the proceedings and falls within the competence of the Court, it was a homogeneous prejudicial issue to be resolved by the Court and not by another. The question of the nationality of all the citizens of Cumagne, as an extension of the nationality of the defendant, was therefore the jurisdiction of the Court and the defendant's opinion was mistaken on p. 19 in which he affirms that this fact was not possible to be judged, lacking such confirmation of legal and juridical support, as well as being contrary to the consolidated doctrine of the previous issues of the legal process.

The Imperial Constitution established that the loss of nationality was only due to a judicial decision or the achievement of a new nationality, unless the country is recognized by the Empire or, even though it does not recognize it, imposes nationality as a condition for the exercise of civil rights (article 56). The judicial decision that determines the loss of nationality, on the other hand, can only be based on item II of art. 56 of the Constitution, or in the case of res judicata of a conviction whose penalty is the loss of nationality. Thus, it was clear that the defendant did not lose his nationality, either after his resignation as Imperial Chancellor or after the formal separation of the Kingdom of Cumagne from the Karnia-Ruthenia, since the emancipated state does not conform to the description in the sole paragraph of art. 4 of the Constitution, reinforced as an exclusionary condition of nationality in the sole paragraph of art. 56 of the same charter.

Therefore, at the time of the process and unless incurring sanction to deprive him of this right, the defendant was and remained a Karno-Ruthenian citizen, subject to the laws of the State and under the jurisdiction of the Court, being subject to direct execution of the sentence. The Palatine of the Court of Justice further conclude that, for the same reasons, all the other 10 citizens of Cumagne continue to have the status of Karno-Ruthenian citizens, and that condition would only be withdrawn in the two cases provided for in article 56, as has already been said.

The facts[edit | edit source]

The evidence gathered by the prosecution sufficiently demonstrates the strangeness of the conduct adopted by the defendant at the time of the alterations in the forum and of the Emperor's decision to create a new domain. The strangeness was accentuated in light of the fact that the plaintiff's approach has always been sympathetic and never turned to direct accusation. The intention of the plaintiff to keep the defendant in his post is evident in the excerpt attached to p. 5, indicating the poor likelihood of bad faith on the part of the Emperor to orchestrate from the outset a false accusation that he himself was the agent behind the crimes, as the defendant suggested in his defense. However, this was not enough to declare the guilt or intention of the defendant.

The evidence shown at pp. 8/9, however, fully demonstrates the link between the email and the defendant, according to the content of the accusation in which the defendant would have hacked the email linked to the domain of the forum, since its place of origin is Belgium, macronation in which the defendant resides. Although the real possibility of the VPN being able to alter this information in a way to falsely incriminate the defendant exactly as it was suggested in his interrogation, this hypothesis loses force if analyzed in conjunction with the fact that the hacked email was proven to have been used in the defamation campaign of the Empire, as attested in the aforementioned evidence. The link between the defendant and the defamation campaign was evident in his own defense, in that he assigns four of his six pages to accuse the plaintiff of being the author of the alleged false war, even if this charge was not the subject of the case substance. When asked about this specific fact, the defendant merely stated that he did not have access to the email mentioned, lacking his defense and his interrogation of the presentation of contrary evidence.

The defensive position adopted by plaintiff after the mention of the Juznoslavia War was not considered sufficiently incriminating, as the defendant suggested in his interrogation (page 43), since this was a natural reaction. Just as the defendant's behavior initially presented in the evidence of the prosecution alone does not insinuate his person, plaintiff’s behavior can not do so either.

The evidential set presented by the defense, regarding the history of the email linked to the domain of the forum and the history of administrative actions of the forum, initially demonstrate his innocence of the crimes in which he was accused. However, the evidential set of the prosecution made these evidences of defense worthy of a deeper analysis in the face of the known possible means of changing digitally linked information. Thus, in light of the expert report ordered for this purpose, it was clear that the evidence of the defense was likely to have been altered in ways to make his innocence credible.

Thus, there remains the double hypothesis that both the plaintiff has used VPN to falsify his own central evidence, as the defendant has used the detailed means in the expert's report to falsify the central evidence of the defense. In the dilemma in which two contingencies are possible, one must consider the other factors presented in the evidences to verify the fact.

The other evidences was precisely the elements discussed above, which initially and alone are also not sufficient to incriminate either the defendant nor the plaintiff. If taken together, however, it was noted that the arguments of the defense rely on (a) the unilateral declaration that he did not have access and therefore did not hack the email linked to the forum; (b) in the initial evidence that the defendant would have no influence over the Emperor and therefore would have no interest in undermining his power; (c) in the fact that he did not have internet access at the time the crimes were committed; (d) evidence that he had not changed the rules of the forum; and (e) computer evidence that the plaintiff was the agent behind the Juznoslavia War and in possession of the email.

The argument (a) was not subject to consideration since it lacked of solid evidence; argument (b) does not logically demonstrate what was intended, since the dialogue offered between the plaintiff and the defendant in the context of the Constitutional Commission deals with a completely different subject from the one that was intended to be demonstrated, besides the fact that the plaintiff being dissatisfied with the loss of his powers does not in any way imply that the defendant does not wish to weaken his power; there was no causal link. The argument (c) could not be taken into account either for the same reasons as (a); argument (d) was solid, but susceptible to the contingency opened by the expert's report; and argument (e) was also solid, but equally susceptible to the contingency opened by the expert's report.

As to the prosecution's arguments, it could be summarized as follows: (a) the defendant wished to weaken the power of the plaintiff in order to appropriate some structures of the Empire, because (a.a) the defendant sent, through “Ms. Kari”, using the email of the defendant himself, a formal request for the transfer to him of a state company precisely at the time after the forum's fall; (a.b) the defendant had administrative access to the forum; (a.c) the defendant expressed an unwillingness to offer the backup of the forum, as well as the idea of creating a new forum. In addition, it was (b) presented evidence that the defendant was in fact in possession of the said hacked email due to its sending location; (c) the argument that the defendant orchestrated the fall of the forum for illicit purposes would be reinforced by the defamation campaign carried out by the hacked email; (d) with the frustration of his plans in relation to the forum, the defendant nevertheless sought to maintain his advantage by presenting an unconstitutional bill to the plaintiff, in which he intented to give Cumagne great autonomy, reinforcing his bad faith nature.

The argument (a) was supported by three routes: (a.a) a real suspicion was opened regarding the defendant, since Ms. Kari had never been mentioned before and the email and its contents were sent at a very suspicious time through the account of the defendant himself. His defense, given in the interrogation that Ms. Kari did not use her own email for reasons of privacy, does not sufficiently answer the question, since Ms. Kari could have created an exclusive account of her activities at the service of the defendant, thus preserving her privacy. In addition, it was suspect that a prominent person such as Ms. Kari has not been mentioned before to the plaintiff. The argument (a.b) was solid, since both parties to the proceedings agree with it veracity; although the defendant disagrees that he had complete access to the media of the Empire, he does not deny this specific fact. The argument (a.c) raised suspicions about the defendant as well as (a.a), since his discomfort in giving full control of the forum to the plaintiff was evident, as can be especially read on p. 4. The argument (b) was solid, although it was susceptible to falsehood from VPN; the argument (c) raised suspicions about the defendant as well as (a.a) and (a.c), establishing a clear link between the defendant and the defamation campaign; and, finally, argument (d) reinforced the suspicion to the defendant, since the bill proposed by him was admittedly unconstitutional by the Imperial Supreme Court and since the contents of this same bill maintained in the hands of the defendant some portion of greater power than before.

In sum, it was possible to conclude that in the set of arguments of the defense, there were two solid arguments, but susceptible of fraud; two arguments impossible to be taken into account; and an argument that lacked logic. In the arguments of the prosecution, in turn, there was a solid argument, but it was susceptible of fraud; a strong argument and recognized as true by both parties to the proceedings; and four arguments that logically offer evidence of the defendant's guilt.

Considering the final result of this analysis, the greater force and reason contained in the evidences and arguments of the prosecution was indisputable. There was an undeniable solid argument and four evidences that make the second solid argument very likely, guiding the previously raised dilemma about evidence fraud to the detriment of the defendant. In contrast, the arguments of the defense rely solely on an argument that can be carried forward and even this argument was susceptible to fraud, as raised by the dilemma.

As stated above, the indicial evidences (a.a; a.c; c; d) presented by the prosecution could not, if considered separately, sufficiently incriminate the defendant. However, considering all the evidence and arguments of both parties to the proceedings, the defendant's AUTHORSHIP in the crimes was notorious, since the evidence presented in (b) and reinforced by (a.a; a.b; a.c; c; d), as well as it was notorious the MATERIALITY of crimes, since the site is proven fall on p. 8.

The Law[edit | edit source]

The culpability of the defendant in the crimes charged was a corollary of the authorship and materiality demonstrated above. The defendant's intention in the practice of crimes could be seen from the grounds of accusation previously named as (a.a), (a.c), (c), and (d).

Were aggravating circumstances of the crimes the premeditation, demonstrated through the evidence of the email sent in view of the ownership of the state company, the change of the properties of the forum and the hacked email, all facts these carried out previously to the proposal of the email initially sent; frivolous or unworthy motive, characterized by the fact that the defendant was not impelled by any ethical reason or relevant social interest in practicing his criminal conduct, but in order to gather more power and weaken the Emperor; and abuse of authority, whereas he utilized his position as a high-ranking civil servant to appropriate the forum, email and also to propose an unconstitutional bill (Criminal Code, art. 6, items c, d and e).

Mitigating circumstances were the good record of the defendant, who had in the present case his first criminal charge (Criminal Code, art. 7, item a).

The Sentence[edit | edit source]

The accused were:

Name

  

Count Penalty

    

Notes
  1

    

2

    

3

    

4

    

5

    

6

    

7

    

8

    

9

    

   
G N N O G I G G G CONVICTED Court considered the prosecution's demand VALID IN PART.

"I" Indicted      "G" Indicted and found Guilty      "N" Indicted and found Not Guilty      "O" Not Charged

Thomas of Cumagne was also condemned to the definitive loss of all his public office and title of nobility within the Empire, as prescribed by the Criminal Code in its art. 4, in addition to the costs of the process in the amount of RMK$ 397,87.

See also[edit | edit source]