Nuntius Inimici - Inimician Broadcasting Corporation
Telum, 13th June 2021 -- In a shock vote, the House of Commons has declared its support for controverial Commission candidates Josephine Areai, from the war-torn nation of Istkalen, and Sofie Čikarová, spearhead of the Party of the European Left. Following a narrowly-accepted motion by People's Movement leader Adolf Danube, which called for MPs to cast a ballot on Inimicus's votes for Commission, Parliament swiftly decided Inimicus's preferences within half an hour.
Surprisingly, the People's Movement, whose party principles place it on the far right of the political spectrum, voted together with the United Green Front, Central Progressive Party, and splinters of the Emperor's Finest and Inimician Liberal Appeal, to give Ms Čikarová a narrow win in the Commons. It is understood Adolf Danube instructed his MPs to vote for Čikarová, who is an incredibly controversial figure in Inimicus, to cause an almost certain contrast between Parliament's choice and the National Imperial Council's, which is due to vote on the Empire's Commission preferences next week.
Similarly, Movement MPs supported Areai, along with large fractions of the Centre-Conservative Union, Inimician Liberal Appeal, and smaller parties. Parliament expressed its support for Areai by just two votes, with virtually all Emperor's Movement MPs preferring Jean-Claude Juncker, despite his opposition to the European Commission (Sanctioning Powers) Act.
During and immediately after the vote, legal experts questioned the legality of Parliament assuming the prerogative to decide on the national Commission vote. "Ultimately, following the Constitution, this power is reserved to the Emperor", explains legal scholar and European Court of Justice Candidate Benjamin Steyn. "He has delegated this power to whatever instrument He feels fit, in this case, the National Imperial Council. The House of Commons was not given such power in the Imperial Decree calling for its convention, and this vote should therefore not have happened."
Jeff Speller, Imperial Councillor, however, claims Parliament was given the right to decide on matters "of its own choosing", and that therefore, this vote stands. Whether the National Imperial Council will hear it, however, is another matter. "If the Council neglects this decision by the directly-elected representatives of the people", Speller explains, "there can no longer be said to be any democracy in Inimicus. The people's rule will have ended."
Meeting chambers of the House of Commons (left) and the National Imperial Council
Telum, 18th June 2021 -- National Imperial Councillors have determined Inimicus's votes for European Commission. By a large majority, the NIC chose Jean-Claude Juncker for Premier and Emma Granger for Internal Affairs Commissioner. These preferences completely contradict the choices made by the House of Commons last week, whose members cast their ballots for controversial candidates Josephine Areai and Sofie Čikarová. Given that Areai resigned from the Internal Affairs race not too long ago, the Council did not consider her in its voting sessions today, meaning even the likes of Jeff Speller IC, whose position was to vote as the Commons did, could not cast their vote for her.
Nevertheless, the choice of Čikarová vs. Juncker causes an unprecedented constitutional crisis on the Empire level. The Constitution does not document who, or which body, is mandated to determine the Inimician vote for Commission. Custom has dictated that the National Imperial Council votes on candidates, but a House of Commons motion by People's Movement leader Adolf Danube triggered a vote by MPs, who narrowly backed Areai and Čikarová. "Who holds power in Inimicus?", asks political correspondent Colin Husky, "Parliament or the Council? More importantly, perhaps, what is the function of Parliament if it does not hold any power?"
Preliminary polling conducted for Nuntius Inimici suggests a near 50/50 split in popular opinion: 43% support the Council determining Commission votes, with 42% favouring the Council. Additionally, 66% support a consensual vote, where both the Council and Parliament determine Inimicus's vote together. This consensual option has also been raised by several Imperial Councillors, including Jeff Speller and Imperial heavyweight Basil Lawson. His Imperial Majesty, who naturally possesses the Prerogative to end this crisis, has not spoken out on the issue yet, but is expected to do so in due course.
Telum, 29th June 2021 -- Inimicus's temporary legislature, the House of Commons, was disbanded a day early today by His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos, who made yet another surprise appearance in the grand House of Commons meeting chamber during the House's morning sitting. The Emperor, citing Nuntius Inimici polling figures which suggest well over half (63%) of Inimicians now suggest Parliament should never again have a say in Inimicus's choice for European Commission, claimed MPs had "overstepped" their "constitutional bounds". The Emperor's announcement follows weeks of infighting among parliamentarians over which one of Inimicus's legislatures, the directly-elected temporary House of Commons, or the permanent part-appointed National Imperial Council, is legally mandated to determine the Empire's votes for European Commission.
The Emperor, whose constitutional power is absolute, albeit bound to constitutional principles, finally decided on a compromise vote, partially maintaining the Commons' wishes, partially concurring with the National Imperial Council. Following the speech in which He set out this choice, People's Movement MPs attempted to file motions calling for the immediate deposition of the Emperor, the quashing of His decision, and the forced resignation of all members of the Imperial Executive. These proposals were met with vigorous backlash from Emperor's Finest MPs, resulting in fillibusters, disordery conduct, and even physical threats made against MPs in the last week of Parliament's sitting.
His Imperial Majesty, upon disbanding the Commons a day before the scheduled end date on 30th June, also referenced how well over 80% of polled Inimicians agree with His compromise decision, and 86% now view Parliament less favourably than before this year's sitting. Artabanos further warned MPs that "a procedural review" will take place to determine whether the House of Commons "can continue in its current shape". Making amendments to the procedures of the Commons would, however, require a Constitutional amendment, which His Imperial Majesty does not have the power to enact Himself.
In other news, the death of Lord Bentlarch of Orbis Terrarum yesterday brings the House of Nobles, the other chamber of the Inimician Parliament, closer to a dysfunctional death. 150 Nobles sit in the Upper House, and all are appointed by the Emperor. Artabanos, however, has refused to appoint any further Nobles since 2014, leaving nearly half of all Noble seats vacant. Rules of procedure in the Upper House dictate that no sitting may commence unless a quorum of over 75 Nobles are present in the Chamber -- in recent weeks, following the rapid deaths of seven Nobles from old age, this has caused increasing difficulty for the Noble Speaker, Frits Steiner, to start any sessions.
In 2014, 142 Nobles formally sat in the House. As of yesterday, 78 remain. With well over twenty Nobles being over 80 years old, it is considered only a matter of time before the House of Nobles dies a quiet death. His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos has been a long-time critic of the House of Nobles, which only has advisory powers, and vowed to stop appointing its members when He acceeded to the Throne. Critics, including Imperial Councillor Jeff Speller, accuse the Emperor of "attemping to subvert democratic order" and "escaping from any and all scrutiny". Nevertheless, Nuntius Inimici polling now shows stronger support for the formal disbanding of the House of Nobles than support for keeping it in place.
Former European Councillor Augustus Barrington was stripped of all titles and his knighthood after being suspected of involvement with the attempt on His Imperial Majesty's life last summer
Portus Inimici, 13th July 2021 -- Inimicus's former European Councillor and suspected criminal mastermind Augustus Barrington arrived in Portus Inimici today after nearly six months of extralegal hiding in the Commonwealth of Leagio. Barrington was escorted by Imperial Guard Investigation Unit (IG-IU) officers on a government flight from Tullion to Portus Inimici Military Aerodrome this morning. In a brief press statement following the transfer of Barrington from the jet to a column of armoured vehicles, IG-IU Commander Albert Rosenfield, who led the Inimician delegation in Leagio, commented: "Working in tandem with Leagioan authorities, the Imperial Guard has extracted Augustus Barrington from a hidden location in Leagio, where he was in hiding with senior organised Leagioan criminals. Barrington was detained for an indefinite in line with the Imperial Decree calling for his arrest."
Barrington, whose vigour as European Councillor was matched only by his shrewdness on the National Imperial Council, is expected to stand trial along with his brother, Maximillian de Barrington, and former People's Tribune Glennis Mayfair, as well as Neo-Venetian coupists Dominic Dalfarra, Marco Brookfield, Lando Ambrogio, and Peter Zan. Dalfarra and Brookfield, whose roles in the Neo-Venetian communist regime was salient, were arrested in an Imperial Navy raid in Neo-Venetia City, while Ambrogio and Zan were apprehended by Imperial Special Forces at a military encampment close to the Inimician-Venetian border, not far from where former Imperial Consul Maximillian de Barrington was arrested attempting to cross into revolutionary territory.
The Emperor's prosecutorial team, headed by Imperial Prosecutor Extraordinaire (IPE) Paulus Robinax, pictured below, has been preparing for this grand court case since last summer, when it became apparent His Imperial Majesty had been the victim of an assassination attempt. By Imperial Decree, criminal procedures were delegated from the Provincial judiciary of Terra Rosarum, where the assassination attempt took place, to the Imperial level, and as such this case will be presented directly to the Imperial Crown Court, which the Emperor chairs. Robinax, in a press statement this afternoon, suggested procedures could begin as early as next month: "His Imperial Majesty and the Inimician people expect these criminals to be brought to justice as soon as practical. I have requested the Imperial Crown Court clear its judicial calendar for August and September in preparation for proceedings to begin."
Under Inimician law, appointments of extraordinary prosecutors are reserved to the Emperor; these prosecutors may be given whatever powers and duties defined in the appointment decree. Robinax, who heads a 100-strong legal team housed in the Imperial Palace, was given full investigatory powers on a national level, and was granted the rank of Commander of the Imperial Guard, allowing him to direct investigation units with the purpose of evidence-gathering. Critics on the National Imperial Council, such as Jeff Speller IC, have suggested that Robinax's position is "illegal" and "dictatorial". The Emperor, however, defended His prosecutor in Parliament last month, saying "the Inimician People can have full confidence in the Imperial prosecutorial team."
Until legal procedures start, Augustus Barrington will be detained in the Military Detention Centre in Portus Inimici, renowned for its high security levels. The other suspects are currently in undisclosed locations spread around the Empire, with the government keen to keep them from mingling with one another.
Imperial Prosecutor Extraordinaire Paulus Robinax
CROWN COURT TO CELEBRATE 10-YEAR EMPIRE ANNIVERSARY WITH BARRINGTON SENTENCING --//-- HOUSE OF NOBLES OFFICIALLY DIES OUT
Left to right: former Imperial Consul Maximillian de Barrington, former Quaestor Glennis Mayfair, and former European Councillor Augustus Barrington
Telum, 11th October 2021 -- The Imperial Crown Court Publicity Service announced today that it has arranged the sentencing of all suspects in the Barrington Treachery case to occur on 1st December, exactly 10 years after the establishment of the Empire of Inimicus. The Barrington brothers Maximillian and Augustus, along with confidante Glennis Mayfair and three Neo-Venetian suspects, were recently found guilty of several high-level offences, including High Treason and leaking of critical information, after a long trial this summer. It is thought the Imperial Palace put significant pressure on the Crown Court to come to a sentencing judgement as soon as possible, although sources from inside the Court claim there is significant disagreement within the Court benches on what sentence to hand the Inimician convicts.
Official celebrations for the 10th anniversary of the Empire started this week with mass gatherings in all major cities, including Portus Inimici, Astro, Patricio, Lacerta, and Orbis Terrarum. Meanwhile, the Imperial Palace have invited foreign dignitaries to a large banquet marking the decade-long Imperial tradition, as well as riding tours across the Empire's major landmarks. It is thought His Imperial Majesty the Emperor will personall visit several important battlefield sites of the Inimician revolution of 2011, including ones on which He Himself fought personally.
Imperial Consul Christopher Strathclyde commented the co-occurence of national celebration and possibly severe legal sentencing in a press statement this afternoon: "The Imperial Crown Court sets its own sentencing dates", the Consul claimed, "However, I think every true Inimician will, rather than considering it inappropriate for this sentencing to take place on our national day, consider it fitting and apt that those who attempted to topple the pillar of our stable government, to undermine the Empire, are finally handed their sentence on the day we celebrate the same stable government, the same Empire."
In other news, following the death of Baroness Pickering of Fugit this morning, only 74 Nobles officially remain eligible to sit in the House of Nobles. Given that 75 members (a 50% quorum) are necessary for any sitting to formally begin, this implies the House of Nobles is now dead. The abolition of the House of Nobles has long been a policy of Emperor Artabanos and His allies, however, the Nobles are constitutionally mandated to prevent their own formal disollusion. Imperial Consul Strathclyde called the informal abolition "a step into the 21st century". Noble Speaker Frits Steiner, however, declared the process "a constitutional outrage" and vowed litigation through the courts.
EMPIRE ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS BEGIN AS INIMICIAN-DIESSENIAN OFFENSIVE AGAINST REULAND SEPARATISTS TAKES SHAPE
His Imperial Majesty meets supporters on the streets of Telum (left), and journalists at a joint press conference with the Confederal President of North Diessen (right).
October 20th, 2021 -- As the official programme to mark the 10-year anniversary of the founding of the Empire of Inimicus commences, joint Inimician-Diessenian operations against separatists in the Diessenian State of Reuland begin to escalate. His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos has supposedly rushed from the Imperial Situation Room, somewhere underneath the Imperial Palace, to meet with foreign guests He invited to mark the exalted national occasion. "I had anticipated this day to be far more celebratory than it has turned out to be", His Imperial Majesty was quoted as saying, "Nevertheless, I trust every Inimician to mark our special celebratory period with the same vigour, with the same patriotism, as would be expected."
Foreign dignitaries are currently housed at the Imperial Palace, where they will enjoy a lavish anniversary banquet. Among the guests are Inquistan Archibshop Mikaela Kligenberg, who supposedly wore a camouflage-pattered dress to mark the strange combination of military deployment and state banquet, and Commissioner candidate Jean-Claude Juncker, whose presence in the Palace has led some in the National Imperial Council to complain about the Emperor's "party-political preferences". Tomorrow, 21st October, foreign leaders will join His Imperial Majesty on walking tours of Telum and Patricio, although security is likely to be enhanced following recent events. Indeed, President of Czech Slavia Albína Reiserová, currently a candidate for the European Order of Merit, pulled out of attending at the last minute, citing concerns about her nation's neutral stance.
His Imperial Majesty, however, does not consider Inimician involvement in North Diessen an "intervention" as such. In a joint press conference late yesterday with Inge Pekcan, Confederal President, the Emperor declared "our assistance is neither an intervention nor an invasion -- it is, put plainly, help. The Imperial Government received a formal request from the Minister for National Defence of North Diessen, Ekrem Mueller, for military assistance, and, as a true ally of the Confederacy, the Empire answered the call." Responding to a statement by the Premier Commissioner of the European Union, Sofie Čikarová, who called upon "outside actors to refrain from conducting military operations in the region without prior consultation with the rest of the European Community", His Imperial Majesty claimed that "if we do not act now, we are giving Reuland away", and that "the European Commission has no powers to stop allied nations defending themselves when in need."
Confederal President Pekcan, who arrived in Telum under heavy Imperial Guard protection, thanked His Imperial Majesty personally for His "impeccable record as North Diessen's ally, in good times and tough times." She further announced that the deployment of Inimician military forces "has already made a considerable difference" in combatting units from the separatist state of Reuland. The situation in Reuland remains unstable, however, with reports of reprisals against civilian populations who aid Inimician or Confederal Diessenian authorities frequent. According to several sources, a man who offered food to an Imperial Armed Forces squadron entering his village was later arrested by the Reuland Constabulary, tortured through partial flaying, interrogated, and executed.
Nevertheless, celebrations across the Empire are likely to continue, as authorities grapple competing demands of extensive military deployment and festive activities.
Additional Imperial Armed Forces units have been preparing for deployment to North Diessen since yesterday.
The Inimician Third Fleet has made a 180-degree turn and is returning back to the Empire's shores.
5th November 2021 -- His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos has made a personal intervention into Inimician involvement in the crisis surrounding the Strait of Adventaruza. Following escalation of tensions over the waters, which are a major trade artery for Inimicus, Imperial Defence Office Baris Mancov announced yesterday that the Imperial Navy's Third Fleet, which had up until then been patrolling the coastal waters of North Diessen, would join the First Fleet in Adventaruza. That decision, it now appears, has been overturned by the Emperor.
The Inimician First Fleet has been present in the Strait of Adventaruza since late last month, and has been providing the Spanish Armada with reconnaisance and patrolling support. Following the contesting of Spain's claims to the entire Strait by the Republic of Yosai, and widespread condemnations of, and statements of support for, Spain's claims, naval units from the Kingdom of Reitzmag moved up in preparation of entry to the Strait this week. In response, Defence Officer Mancov called out the "intentionally aggressive and projecting moves" made by Reitzmag and ordered the dispatch of the Third Fleet to the Strait. Similarly, the Kingdom of Montenbourg announced the sending of a carrier strike group to counter Reitzmic aggression.
However, His Imperial Majesty stated in a press conference this afternoon: "Although we resolutely condemn yet another act of wanton aggression by the Kingdom of Reitzmag, which has torn to pieces the shreds of trust the Empire had built up in Simon Bridges' government over the last weeks, we will not risk Inimician lives over these waters. The Imperial Navy was originally deployed to the Strait to help our Spanish allies in reconnaisance and patrol, not to wage war. Reitzmic escalation of the situation has made it entirely untenable for the Imperial Fleet to remain in the Strait."
Rapprochement between Reitzmag and Inimicus now seems unlikely, after a phase of growing detente between the two countries. His Imperial Majesty added the following: "The Imperial Navy has begun its process of withdrawal. I expect, no, I demand, that Reitzmic forces to the same. Even though Simon Bridges is clearly not used to rational decision-making, I hope he will listen to my advice and remove his vessels from active deployment. I must also warn him, that if he decides to take the withdrawal of the Imperial Navy as an opportunity to attack our allies in the Kingdom of Spain, he will face full hammer blows of two combined Imperial fleets within no time at all."
The Emperor's overruling of His Defence Officer comes at a time when Baris Mancov's conduct in North Diessen is under scrutiny by some Imperial Councillors, Inimicus's highest legislators. Councillor Jeff Speller, a noted critic of the Imperial Government, today called for an investigation into "possible war crimes and betrayal of our allies", referring to reports that Imperial Army troops had barred Diessenian Defence Force units from leaving their bases towards the end of the Inimician intervention in North Diessen. IDO Mancov is yet to address these allegations.
Returning to current affairs, His Imperial Majesty concluded His statement by saying: "This decree by Me is a sign of peace. It is a sign of the diplomatic, peaceful intentions of the Empire of Inimicus. I would urge the Kingdom of Spain, whose position we continue to support in whatever way we can, to come to an agreement with the Republic of Yosai as soon as possible, so trade can flow, sailors can return home, and no one loses what is most dear to them."
Former IDO Mancov
Telum, 10th November 2021 -- Imperial Defence Officer Boris Mancov has been dismissed from his post following the crisis around the Strait of Adventuranza. Mancov came under heavy fire from members of the National Imperial Council after he dispatched a second fleet to the Spanish-claimed Strait, following rumours that a Reitzmic force was approaching the contested waters. Imperial Councillor Simon Lane, whose experience as Inimicus's former Prime Minister included several international crises, claimed "The IDO [Imperial Defence Officer] endangered Inimician lives by dispatching our women and men without consulting the Imperial Defence Council. He escalated the situation beyond precedent, and alienated our allies."
In an emergency debate on the Adventuranza crisis, Mancov found little support from his traditional Council allies, including Executive Representative Leader and Imperial Consul Christopher Strathclyde, who called the IDO's actions "unfortunate and damaging to the Empire's reputation abroad". His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos, present for the debate, announced at its conclusion that Mancov would be relieved from his post immediately, and claimed he had "damaged the trust of our allies in our resolve to come to their aid, and the confidence of the Inimician Peoples in our Armed Forces." Mancov was also questioned around reports that Imperial Armed Forces units blocked Diessenian military personnel from leaving their designated bases during the final days of the Diessen Campaign last month. Mancov categorically denied these reports.
The Imperial Palace later announced that political veteran James Cocx IC, former Triumvir of the Empire under the pre-2018 divison of power, will replace Mancov as Imperial Defence Officer with immediate effect . Mancov is to remain an Imperial Councillor for the time being, pending a formal investigation into his conduct. "Comparing Cocx to Mancov, we see clear differences in past conduct", comments Colin Husky, Nuntius Inimici political editor, "Cocx has a track record of spending big and reaping the rewards afterwards. Mancov was a far more conservative spender, and a more cautious person in general. We can only guess what angry mood stirred him to deploy a second fleet to Adventuranza. In any case, that gamble did not pay off."
James Cocx IC, newly-appointed Imperial Defence Officer
Big spending, it seems, is already high on the new IDO's agenda. Only hours after being appointed to the position, James Cocx announced a "completely new focus" of the Imperial Armed Forces budget. In a statement, the new IDO claimed he secured "billions of guilders' worth of new funding for the Armed Forces from the Imperial budget". Outlining what these billions would be spent on, Cocx emphasised the importance of "a new way of warfare, focused on drone technology, special forces, small yet efficient strike teams, cyberwarfare, and traditional military units as support elements." Although a formal budget has not so far been published, the Defence Office announced this would be forthcoming within the next weeks.
Retired Brigadier General Lethbridge Stuart, who led the famous rescue operation that freed Emperor Artabanos from Rimrothian captivity in 2014, comments: "If the Imperial Armed Forces is serious about this 'new way of warfare', it could become an even bigger player than it already is on the world stage. No longer would the Imperial Navy be sent out in conspicuous ways, but teams at the Imperial Defence Council's headquarters would be able to deal the same or worse damage from their own PC screens. Unmanned drones would wreak havoc on the Empire's enemies without a single Inimician life at risk. This is promising."
Previously, the Imperial Air Force has experimented with unmanned reconnaisance and attack drones, including the newly-developed P.1HH and its designed - but not yet realised - P.2HH successor. Trials were generally reported as extremely successful, and the Imperial Defence Office is rumoured to announce a ƒ1bn fund for development and build of the P.2HH. This would accompany a ƒ750m investment in retraining and expansion of the Imperial Special Forces Command, whose successful operations in Neo-Venetia and North Diessen saw it gain in political appreciation, and whose Cyber Division could graduate to an independent branch of the Armed Forces.
An Inimician Air Force P.1HH over the mountains of Terra Dominus
CONSPIRATORS SENT TO LIFE INTERNMENT AS EMPIRE ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS CLOSE EARLY --//-- IMPERIAL PALACE 'PLEASED' WITH WITHDRAWAL OF ECOJ CASE
Impression of the Imperial Crown Court Central Hall
Telum, 25th November 2021 - Six days before its initial schedule, the Crown Court has issued judgements in the case surrounding the Needletail One disaster, now nearly eighteen months ago. All defendants, except former Quaestor Glennis Mayfair, whose role in the conspiracy that nearly led to His Imperial Majesty's death was hotly debated, were sentenced to varying forms of life inprisonment.
Dominic Dalfarra, Peter Zan, and Marco Brookfield, the three neo-Venetian operatives who liaised with Palace moles to encompass the downing of Needletail One, were handed a lifetime sentence of solitary imprisonment in Patricio Imperial Penetentiary, the Empire's harshest foreign national prison.
Former Imperial Consul Maximillian de Barrington and his brother Augustus, a familiar face in Inimicus's European representation, will both spend the rest of their days in the Dominus Military Detention Centre, which is liked to the copious bauxite mines in northern Inimicus.
Judges commented that an even more severe sentence "would have been more than appropriate given the severity of the defendants' transgressions". However, Inimician law no longer provides for capital punishment after EU legislation outlawing this practice was passed several years ago. All defendants, having been kept in highest-security custody since their arrest several months ago, were immediately escored by armoured transport to their new, permanent homes.
"Justice was served today", commented Imperial Consul Christopher Strathclyde after judgements were handed out, "And the Inimician Peoples can rest assured that the most hardened, calcified criminals in our Empire are behind bars, and will remain so."
Mass protests accompanied the Court's session, with thousands of people gathered outside the Crown Court demanding tougher sentences and a reimposition of the death penalty. "My mother-in-law was murdered with a frozen leg of lamb", commented one protestor, who wished to remain anonymous, "Surely eye for an eye is what we need?" Imperial Government sources, however, suggest no plans to overturn European law currently exist.
Imperial Consul Strathclyde further commented on the withdrawal by Istkalen prosecutors of the pending European Court of Justice case against the Imperial government: "The Emperor's legal team was fully, and I mean fully prepared to fight this ridiculous petition tooth and nail. The whole case was based on conjecture, speculation, and rumours. We know, and I think the Inimician Peoples know, that His Imperial Majesty's reign is a true blessing to us all, and He would never even think about committing the outrageous offences of which He was accused by this Istkalen band of singers."
Asked whether the Imperial Government would have co-operated with an extradition of the Emperor to European lawmakers if found guilty, the Consul added: "I normally do not deal in speculation, unlike those who drew up this court case, but if the European Court of Justice, a foreign court meant to arbitrate between nation states, ruled that the Inimician Peoples should extradite their Emperor, their elected, re-elected, and re-re-elected highest representative, to be imprisoned for crimes against humanity, well, surely you would understand that this would comprise the highest form of lunacy. The Emperor is the Imperial Government. The Emperor embodies His Peoples. Extradition? No way."
Exclusive interview sheds light on Benfield's history, motivations, and aspirations for the European post
Nicholas Benfield, European Councillor for Inimicus, National Imperial Councillor, former Imperial Triumvir, is a staple of Inimician and regional politics. The councillor, 42, came to prominence as an ally of late Emperors William and, especially, Hugh, during and after the Inimician Revolution of 2011. Since then, European Council discussions on climate change, immigration, and a host of other topics, made Benfield a controversial and - at times - notorious name on the European stage. Cllr Benfield recently threw his hat in the ring to replace Donald Tusk, Deputy Speaker of the European Council, claiming his extensive expertise on the European stage would make him a knowledgeable and sympathetic chairperson. Nuntius Inimici had the privilege of interviewing Cllr Benfield ahead of the Deputy Speaker election. Colin Husky reports.
Cllr Benfield, thank you for taking the time to sit down with us. I'd like to start by taking you back in time, before the Empire. What was the pre-Imperial Nicholas Benfield like?
Well thank you, Colin. As you'll know, my early years were spent in rural Terra Centurio, and at 17, I relocated to Telum where I completed my degrees in Industrial Engineering. I found work and love in our capital, and decided to stay. At age 25, I was elected the youngest member of the Telum General Assembly, as it was then known, under the Republican administration. My opponents chastise me for my political past before the Empire came to be -- if anything, my involvement with local government pre-revolution allowed me to know what I was fighting for, when the fighting came.
And when the fighting came, you found an ally in former Emperor Hugh Doyle. How did you meet?
Hugh is a fellow Centurian. It doesn't take much for us to band together. I first met Hugh at one of his Monarchist, anti-republican rallies in 2009, and was immediately impressed. I thought, here is someone whose idealism, whose movement, has the potential to inspire. Of course, as my work in our capital's city council had continued, I'd also realised this feint of democracy that existed in our nation back then was nothing more than just that, a ghost. I approached Hugh after his rally, and we have worked together ever since.
Emperors of Inimicus William Jameson (2012-13) and Hugh Doyle (2013-14)
Fast forward to 2012. The Empire is established, our nation has acceeded to the European Union. And you are delegated by Emperor William to represent us all in Europolis. What were those early days like?
For all intents and purposes, our nation was a pariah in those days. In the aftermath of the revolution, a Telum police chief had ordered the gassing of several dozens of peaceful protestors, which led to threats of invasion by our neighbours and a formal European investigation into Inimicus's chemical weapons stockpile. Let me tell you, those initial months were tough. I had to fight tooth and nail for the right of our Empire to be heard abroad. To fix the crooked image the Republicans had built.
One of your most famous -- or should I say, infamous -- moments on the European Council floor occured when you referred to the Medieval Warming Period in a debate on climate change, leading to a prompt and vicious response from the Inquistan Councillor at the time. How do you reflect on that day?
Badly. I have admitted my errors several times before, but let me state once again that I was wrong to make this comparison between hundreds of years ago and the present day. The Inquistan Councillor at the time was completely correct in pointing out the error of my ways. Unfortunately, I never had the chance to clear my name and state my error on the Council floor, as not soon after I had to take a lengthy leave of absence due to a car accident. Nevertheless, I have changed my mind, which too few people do these days when presented with evidence.
On that fateful day in 2013, you lost both legs in th horrific car crash you mentioned. How did you recover?
For a long while, I didn't. I had to give up what was most dear to me: my work, my family, all to quite literally get myself back on my feet. Artificial feet at that. Eight years on, my recovery is still ongoing, and every day I have to remind myself to keep going. I have the amazingly kind and caring staff at Telum Imperial Hospital to thank for their efforts to keep me alive; without them, I would not be sitting here today.
I will say that having to wheel myself around for several years on end gave me a new perspective on life. Suddenly, accessibility is everything. From the floors of the National Imperial Council, where I was honoured with an appointment a few years back, to my own house, to public transport, to my offices in Europolis: stairs were a no-go, and still are. Doors have to be wide enough, I do not need a chair at the table as I bring my own. It's a mental revamp as well as a physical one, and certainly a development that made me far more aware of the requirements of others, both personally and professionally.
Cllr Benfield's car following the crash in 2013
After your recovery, you suddenly reappeared on the political stage to assume the role of Triumvir, along with former Emperor Hugh and Emperor Artabanos. You lost your Triumviral position not soon after. Was this a failure on your part? Why are you still around, if you don't mind my asking?
I'm still around because, I think, my proclivity for political office is recognised. Representing the people of this great country, in whatever form, be it on the European Council or as Triumvir, has been the greatest honour of my life. My passion for representation of our Empire abroad has led me to the corridors of the European Council, to far-flung destinations, but my heart and soul are always still connected to Inimicus. Have I failed at things in life? For sure. But failure is also a great opportunity for learning. And if there is anything I have done in this past decade, it is learn. Learn from my colleagues on the European Council, learn from the citizens I represent. And I intend to continue learning as much as I can.
You then returned to what you just defined as your original passion: representing the Empire abroad. Why, then, make a run for the Deputy Speakership?
Given my years on the European Council, I know its ins and outs. I know its procedures, its ambiguities, but also its importance and the impact it can have on people's lives. As Deputy Speaker, I would be responsible for guiding these procedures in the right direction. Too often have we seen drawn-out Council proceedings that come to a conclusion far too long following a crucial event. In part, this has been down to Speakers and Deputy Speakers neglecting to terminate debate and voting periods. That is what I would change.
Some might question your credentials, given your history of failure and controversy. What would make you a good Deputy Speaker?
I think it's fair to say I've had a tumultuous life, for better or for worse. But from these experiences I have learned to listen, to understand the intentions of others, and to judge fairly. Those are qualities of a good Deputy Speaker. My office door would always be open, I have shown I can work constructively with parties from very different background -- like in the Triumvirate. My experience on the Council floor further shows I know the rules, am capable of interpreting the Constitutional requirements put on the European Council, and the relationship between the Council, Commission, and Court. I would submit I would do the office justice.
Finally, do you have a favourite out of the current Speaker Candidates? Who would you work with best?
Hah, well, they are all highly deserving candidates. I couldn't possibly choose from among them. Current Deputy Speaker Tusk has grown in his role very well, and I would be happy to work with him. At the same time, the Istkalen candidate is an immensely promising Councillor, and it would be a huge privilege to co-operate. Similarly, though Cllr Yahontov and I have found ourselves at the opposite ends of various discussions in recent months, I value her as a competent political actor. Much the same goes for Cllr Roscoe.
Cllr Benfield, thank you for speaking with us today. We wish you all the best and good luck.
Thank you for having me.
With 2021 having drawn to a close, the Nuntius Inimici editorial office takes a glance at this year's biggest winners and losers, in Inimicus and beyond. Our list is divided into several categories, with one winner and one loser per category. For formal complaints about our procedure please submit three printed copies of our complaint form, which can be found online at nuntiusinimici.in under About Us, Complaints, Why Submit A Complaint, Are You Sure You Wish To Submit A Complaint, Know The Implications Of A Complaint, Complaint Forms.
Those who attempted to steer their ships of state from their position at the helm, and succeeded gloriously, or fell into the vicious traps that statecraft presents.
WINNER LOSER Confederal President Ekrem Mueller Dominic Dalfarra North Diessen Neo-Venetia Walter Cocx Inimicus
We couldn't resist adding two winners into this category. Ekrem Mueller, whose tough leadership steered his nation through the viciousness of civil conflict, deserved the top Winner spot. His fortitude and resolve to rebuild his nation's economy are to be praised. Nevertheless, we could not glance over Dr Walter Cocx's victory at the Premier Commissioner elections earlier this year: through his Sanctioning Act, the European Union now has a means of defending itself peacefully against those who would seek its destabilisation. Unfortunately, political glory was not for everyone this year. Speaker of the Neo-Venetian Parliament Dominic Dalfarra, one of the main perpetrators of the assassination attempt against His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos, fell from high to down low this year after his capture by Inimician special forces. Dalfarra was incarcerated for life by the Imperial Crown Court in November.
Much of modern politics happens backstage. Some succeed at this high-level backstabbery, others fail miserably. Our selection:
WINNER LOSER Lord Christopher Strathclyde Maximillian de Barrington Inimicus Inimicus
This list goes without saying. The downfall of the treacherous Barrington family, organised primarily by Imperial Consul Lord Christopher Strathclyde, dominated headlines this year. Brothers Maximillian and Augustus Barrington are currently spending the rest of their days in an Imperial correctional facility, after the Crown Court found them both guilty of high treason against the Emperor.
Every now and again, Inimicus is exposed to people whose sense of dress is truly stunning, for better or for worse. We selected those who made a lasting impression.
WINNER LOSER Archbishop Kligenberg Hennman Vern IC Inquista Inimicus
There can only be one Winner in our fashion category. The undisputed fashionista of our region is, of course, Inquistan Archbishop Mikaela Kligenberg, whose outfits wow even the most stoic of leaders. Unfortunately, not everyone is gifted with the Archbishop's fashion sense, as Imperial Councillor Hennman Vern exemplified this year. Often appearing at Council meetings in bright cotton shirts, Vern was supposedly offered a free rummage through the Imperial Wardrobe by Emperor Artabanos, which the councillor refused.
Those who tried. Who made a real effort, and either succeeded unexpectedly, or failed miserably.
WINNER LOSER Sofie Čikarová Jean-Claude Juncker Czech Slavia Spain
So close, and yet so far. Jean-Claude Juncker, one of the most prolific Commissioners of the last few years, made several attempts to follow in Walter Cocx's footsteps as Premier, but in vain. His zeal is still to be admired, however. Sofie Čikarová, who defeated Juncker in this summer's Commission elections after the Inimician House of Commons took it upon itself to vote for her, takes this category's Winner slot.
Unexpected impact is what this category's about. The unknowns, who took to the stage and made a great - or terrible - impact.
WINNER LOSER Paulus Robinax Tomáš Krejčí Inimicus Czech Slavia
Who would have thought that a hitherto completely unknown barrister could successfully prosecute some of Inimicus's most famous politicians? Imperial Prosecutor Extraordinaire Paulus Robinax takes the Winner slot in this category, and we hope to see much more of him in 2022. As for this year's Unexpected Loser, Tomáš Krejčí, the supposed Czech lover of Inquistan Archbishop Kligenberg, is perhaps surprising. However, where is Krejčí now? The storm he caused earlier this year has all but died out. We expected so much more.
Those who went to war, and came back bearing laurels -- or lost limbs.
WINNER LOSER Ettore Stuart Boris Mancov Inimicus Inimicus Simon Bridges Reitzmag
Major-General Ettore Stuart, who led Inimician special forces into Neo-Venetia and successfully captured the three notorious criminals who are now serving life sentences in the Empire, thoroughly deserves this category's Winner title. Stuart further commanded Inimician forces in the Diessenian Civil War, where he made short work of the Reuland separatists opposing him. Inimician actions in the Strait of Adventuranza were less successful, however, when Imperial Defence Officer Boris Mancov backed down after Reitzmic PM Simon Bridges sent a large fleet to the waters. The two of them, therefore, are listed as Losers in this category.
Last but certainly not least, who deserves a special mention this year? Either due to their amazing vigor and political success, or the very opposite?
WINNER LOSER Emperor Artabanos Augustus Barrington Inimicus Inimicus
His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos celebrated His seventh year on the Imperial Throne in 2021. His guidance, capacity, resolve, and political capabilities are an inspiration to us all. It goes without saying that Our Emperor, the father of our nation, is the biggest winner of 2021. It further goes without saying that former European Councillor and Commissioner Augustus Barrington, who went into hiding with a criminal gang in Leagio after realising his treachery had been found out, is 2021's greatest single loser. Augustus was dragged back to the Empire in chains by Christopher Strathclyde and Imperial Guard Commander Albert Rosenfield, and put on trial alongside his brother.
IMPERIAL - CONFEDERAL FRIENDSHIP TREATY SIGNED
EMPEROR APPOINTS DISGRACED FORMER DEFENCE OFFICER MANCOV AS DRONE CHIEF
Former Disgraced Imperial Defence Officer Mancov's New Official Portrait
Telum, 22nd January 2022 -- With the affixing of signatures by Confederal President of North Diessen Ekrem Mueller and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos, a new Treaty of Peace and Amity between the Empire and its northern neighbour came into force this afternoon. The Treaty, dubbed Ekrem's Convention after the North Diessenian President, who took the initiative for its contents, makes provision for an intense bond of friendship and co-operation between the Imperial and Confederal governments, including on defence, intelligence-sharing, and joint policing of territorial waters.
"This Treaty binds two nations together like never before seen in either of our histories", President Mueller commented after the signing ceremony in the Imperial Palace today, "In recent years, the Empire of Inimicus and the Confederacy of North Diessen have found one another on the same side in international politics, in economic interests, and in defending our common territorial integrity. This Treaty expands and intensifies this co-operation, and formalises our mutual duties and responsibilities."
Emperor Artabanos emphasised the "mutual defence" aspects of the Convention, which appear to reiterate the principles of the Treaty of Telum, signatories of which are obliged to defend one another in case of attack by outside actors. The Inimicus-Diessen convention also makes provision for military bases in one another's territory, and patrolling of each other's waters by joint naval units. Given the massive scale of the Imperial Armed Forces in comparison to their Diessenian Defence Force counterparts, these clauses of the Treaty are likely to benefit North Diessen disproportionately.
Nevertheless, the Empire appears to have much to gain from this Treaty. "We have further agreed provisions for economic and strategic access to the Artabanos Canal, when completion is within reach", President Mueller announced, "Although any access, at any point, by any outside actor, will be fully at the discretion of the North Diessen Confederal Government."
The full text of the Treaty of Peace and Amity is as yet undisclosed, however Imperial Palace sources suggest a copy of the full document is to be presented to the public sometime this week.
In other news, His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos appointed disgraced former Imperial Defence Offier Boris Mancov to the newly-created post of Commissioner for Drone Warfare this morning. The Emperor announced this new post would "aid the Empire's ambitions to become the leading unmanned aerial vehicle power in the region", following large-scale investments in UAV technology by new Imperial Defence Officer James Cocx.
Boris Mancov was dismissed as presiding force of the Defence Office last year, after sending several Imperial Navy fleets into the Strait of Adventuranza before withdrawing all Inimician forces in the face of a Reitzmic presence in the area. His talents, however, were appreciated across the political spectrum, and his specific interest in drone warfare appears to have prompted today's appointment. "Today, His Imperial Majesty graced me with renewed appointment to public office", Mancov stated today, "Appointment to a post which I will aim to fulfill with utmost diligence and rigor."
The new Commissioner for Drone Warfare immediately announced the rollout of over a hundred Piaggio P.2HH attack drones and the deployment of a ƒ750m investment fund, conceded by Imperial Defence Officer James Cocx in November, to effectuate retraining of a branch of the Imperial Special Forces Command (ISFC). "This new ISFC UAV batallion will be the driving force behind this warfare revolution", Mancov stated, "A revolution which has a single purpose: to conserve Inimician lives. And I am beyond honoured to play my part in realising this revolution."
Plurality of Inimicians Now in Favour of Housing Anastasians Inside Imperial Border
The Valley of the Artabanoi on the border between Inimicus and North Diessen, the most popular location for a hypothesised refugee city
Anastasia City / Telum, 26th Jan 2022 -- The notion of finding the refugees of Anastasia City a new home inside the Empire of Inimicus is now the most popular opinion among Imperial Citizens. Nuntius Inimici polling yesterday revealed 29% of those questioned see a new city under the protection of the Imperial Armed Forces as the most viable solution to the Anastasian problem (23% were opposed, 48% don't know/don't care).
This week's terror attacks on Anastasia City dominated headlines in the region, and exposed "serious flaws", as an anonymous Imperial Palace source claimed, "in the ability of the Duchies government to keep order there." In line with this concern, the most frequent reason cited by those polled for why they supported establishing a new city inside Inimicus concerned safety and law enforcement. "There's just no way something like this could've happened if the Imperial Guard kept order there", one respondent commented. 79% of those polled agree that Inimician authorities could provide Anastasians with higher levels of safety than they currently enjoy.
As for potential locations for a new settlement of Anastasians in the Empire, the most popular option (at 59% support) appears to be the border valley in the northwest of Inimicus, This valley, which is the ancestral home of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos, and is therefore known as the Valley of the Artabanoi, has been the proposed development site of a 'new city' to alleviate demographic pressure for several years. "It's a border region", says one of those polled, "And so could be seen as more international."
The Imperial Government claims it has "no plans whatsoever" to convince Anastasian immigration to sites in Inimicus. "That decision, and it is a major decision, is solely in the hands of the United Duchies government." Anastasians are currently prohibited from seeking asylum in the Empire, something which Imperial Consul Simge Galanth, in charge of the Empire's immigration policy, will aim to change within the coming days. Consul Galanth claimed "The time is right for the Empire to be hospitable to those in need, and especially those who have demonstrated they pay a good amount of tax."
Should Anastasians be granted the liberty of applying for asylum seeker status in the Empire, nothing would stop them coming over of their own accord.
PALACE OPENS DIPLOMACY TO NEW INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS
The Imperial Palace in Telum and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos
Telum, 11th February 2022 -- The Empire of Inimicus will aim to re-establish diplomatic relations with the Republic of Istkalen, the Democratic Republic of Czech Slavia, and other hitherto controversial nations. His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos declared His nation's willingness to "enter into dialogue with any state, in any geographical position, as long as their interests broadly align with ours." In an apparent break from Imperial policy up until now, the Emperor confirmed the re-establishment of an Imperial embassy in Istkalen, despite the latter still appearing on the Imperial Foreign Office's red travel ban list. "The new administration in Istkalen has shown it means to participate in the international democratic world order", His Imperial Majesty declared today, "And Inimicus, being a co-operative, reasonable nation, will not deny them the opportunity to do so." Embassy staff are reportedly set to depart for Istkalen at any point.
The Emperor further mentioned Czech Slavia, a socialist state to which the Empire has reacted coldly thus far, as a potential new partner in Europe. "I note President for Life Reiseróva and I share many of the same goals, if not the same politics", Artabanos stated, possibly in reference to Reiseróva's recent indefinite term extension, making her the only other European head of government besides Artabanos Himself with a lifelong term of office. "I can confirm diplomatic contact has already been established with the Democratic Republic of Czech Slavia at low levels", the Emperor continued, "And we are currently looking into how we can officially recommence contact."
His Imperial Majesty's announcement was met with mixed reaction in the National Imperial Council, which scrutinises Imperial policy. Centre-Conservative Union members Henman Vern (Terra Centurio) and Ralph Jaevons (Terra Rosarum) said they oppose "any rapprochement with communists, terrorists, and murderers", referring to recent bloodshed in Istkalen. A majority of Imperial Councillors nevertheless appears in favour of opening up Inimician diplomacy. Jeff Speller (Terra Legati), usually a noted critic of His Imperial Majesty, supported His latest move, calling the Emperor's statement "a rare moment of Him working in the best interests of our country."
Although not mentioned by the Emperor specifically, the United Duchies seems another possible candidate for rapprochement. Inimico-Duchian relations soured after the High Duke's administration sought closer ties with Reitzmag, prompting the dissolution of the original Treaty of Telum, effectively barring the United Duchies from southern Europe's largest military partnership. Rumours in the Palace corridors suggest special envoys may be sent to the Duchies to negotiate naval and trade issues, as well as diffuse tensions surrounding Inimician involvement in the construction of the Artabanos Canal, which is scheduled to start competing directly with the Duchian Baltic Canal in the summer.
North Diessen Contacts Provincial Rather than Imperial Authority for Extradition of Terror Suspect
Palace Reports Talks with Reitzmag, but "no progress" made
Drone Commissioner Mancov Announces Carrier Conversion
President of the Confederacy of North Diessen Ekrem Mueller
Astro, 24th February 2022 -- The Emperor's Commissioner for Terra Praestoris, Natia Vonberg, claims to have received a formal request from the Confederacy of North Diessen for extradition of a runaway suspect in the recent bomb scare that hit the largest Diessenar news agency, the Hilverbode. The formal request suggests military and intelligence integration between the Empire and the Confederacy is not as smooth as previously expected. "Clearly", comments Colin Husky, Nuntius Inimici Political Editor, "There is friction between Diessenar and Imperial authorities. Extradition requests are never sent to local authorities like the Terra Praestoris provincial administration. Ekrem Mueller may be attempting to bypass national-level politicians in Inimicus, who are generally not keen on extraditing suspects they do not see the importance of."
Vonberg's office is nevertheless thought to have relayed the request to Imperial authorities in Telum. Imperial Consul Simge Galanth, whose portfolio includes criminal justice and policing, suggested the Emperor took North Diessen communicating to a Provincial authority as an insult: "His Imperial Majesty was disappointed to hear He was not contacted about this crucial affair. While our friendship with the Confederacy of North Diessen goes far and wide, we do not accept an attempted subversion of our statutory order by an outside power." Asked whether Imperial authorities knew where the desired suspect was or whether they are in custody, Galanth said: "I cannot comment on any individual cases, but let it be known that Imperial law enforcement and military organisations are of the highest standards, and are made aware of any movement across the Empire's borders."
Relations between Inimicus and North Diessen improved last year after tensions in 2020, when the Imperial Transportation Safety Agency (ITSA) implied North Diessenar agents were responsible for the downing of Needletail One, nearly killing His Imperial Majesty the Emperor. A successful Inimician intervention in a short-lived rebellion by the Diessenar state of Reuland led to widespread co-operation and a deeply-rooted alliance between the two states, and joint investment into a second canal link between the Caspian and Persian Gulf.
Imperial Foreign Officer Sarah Gladwell confirmed talks with Reitzmag are ongoing
Telum, 24th February 2022 -- Inimician diplomats have held backroom discussions with representatives from the Kingdom of Reitzmag in an attempt to normalise relations between the two governments. Imperial Foreign Officer Sarah Gladwell nevertheless confirmed "talks have borne no fruit thus far", as Foreign Office sources suggest Reitzmag refuses to accept its building of military islands in the Caspian Sea last year was an act of wrongful aggression. Imperial Armed Forces representatives are also said to have refused to concede the Inimician deployment in the Adventuranza Strait was erroneous, citing "concerns for the security and safety of our ally, the Kingdom of Spain" as grounds for the widely criticised Navy actions in the contested Spanish strait.
Gladwell revealed Reitzmag has made demands surrounding Inimicus's stock of two hundred nuclear warheads, but confirmed "no foreign power will direct Inimicus's nuclear capacity". Reitzmic officials are thought to be concerned about rumours the Imperial Armed Forces are to establish a presence in the Republic of Istkalen, following last week's announcement by Emperor Artabanos that diplomatic relations with previously-sanctioned nations are to resume. "Given these demands", Gladwell commented, "It is extremely difficult to diffuse the tension between us, and to discuss, seriously, what can be done."
It is unclear whether talks with Reitzmag are to resume. Foreign Officer Gladwell suggested Inimicus would be willing to relax its current package of sanctions against Reitzmag if "assurances of non-aggression" were made by the government of Simon Bridges. "However", the Foreign Officer continued, "I am fast losing hope that this is within reach."
Portus Inimici, 24th February 2022 -- Imperial Drone Commissioner and former disgraced Defence Officer Boris Mancov announced the successful prototyping of an Imperial Navy "UAV Carrier". The Thaon Class vessel, named after the Inimician folk hero who successfully defeated a twelve-headed hydra off the Praestorian coast, is a conversion from Patria Class Corvettes, which have a range of nearly 8,000 nautical miles and a top speed of 30 knots. "Given drones' extremely limited size, developing smaller vessels with carrier capability has become a real possibility", the Drone Commissioner stated. "This, in turn, makes the Imperial Navy's Drone Fleet more flexible and far more stealth-capable."
The Imperial Navy is currently working on making virtually all its vessels capable of carrying at least one unmanned aerial vehicle (or UAV), following recent announcements of large-scale investments in technology that "prevents Inimician men and women from putting themselves in harm's way", as stated by the Defence Office. "UAVs offer a unique opportunity for cost-effective, efficient operations without the risk of losing Inimician lives. We have worked on developing an extensive UAV fleet for the past several months and continue to shape the Imperial Armed Forces around UAV capacity."
The Imperial Defence Office also announced the development of a specialised electronic warfare (EW) vessel to accompany recent investment in aerial EW capacity. EW operations include the flatlining of opponents' radar and electricity systems, hacking of communication channels to sew false orders and information, cyber-attacks, and mass gathering of intelligence through signals interception, among other actions. The Electric Class Electronic Warfare Vessel is to be developed from the Imperial Navy's standard patrol boat class, but upgraded with magnet electric engines. These offer "high reliability, high efficiency, low maintenance and low underwater radiated noise, essential for EW vessels", the Defence Office commented.
Imperial Official In North Diessen 'Defenestrated' - reports
Reitzmag Talks Proceeding "with extreme difficulty"
Defence Office Announces Inimician Production of F-35 Fighter Jet
Het Goor, North Diessen, 26/2/2022 -- Commander of the Imperial Guard Investigation Unit Albert Rosenfield, pictured, is reported to have been violently expulsed from the Presidential Palace in North Diessen, following the refusal of Inimician authorities to extradite a wanted terror suspect to its north neighbour. Nuntius Inimici sources claim seeing Rosenfield "dumped" from a second-storey window somewhere inside the Confederal government compound.
Rosenfield has been Inimicus's Special Envoy to the Confederacy of North Diessen since Imperial Armed Forces intervened in the Reuland Rebellion late last year. The German-speaking state illegally defected from the North Diessenian Confederacy but was swiftly brought back under central control after the Inimician intervention. Ties between Inimicus and North Diessen have since developed much more closely, with joint investment in large infrastructure projects such as the Artabanos Canal.
The last week, however, saw renewed tensions between the historic rivals over the extradition of a wanted terror suspect, who has reportedly met with His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos personally. Imperial authorities have so far denied to extradite the individual, citing "concerns" for their safety should they be returned to North Diessen.
Social media users in Inimicus have been swift to denounce the 'Defenestration of Het Goor'. The Imperial Palace has yet to comment on reports, although Imperial Councillor Basil Lawson -- a well-known defence expert -- suggested the Empire would "react with the harshest diplomatic measures" should these Defenestration reports be accurate. Calls for the Imperial Armed Forces to once again march into North Diessen gained traction on the internet in the early hours of this morning, although the Defence Office was swift to temper these sentiments, saying "The Empire of Inimicus and its Imperial Armed Forces would never violate the sovereignty of a neighbouring state."
Nyetthem, Vayinaod -- Inimico-Reitzmic de-escalation talks are progressing with "extreme difficulty", Imperial Foreign Officer Sarah Gladwell stated this morning. While "some progress" had been made in breaching an impasse in negotiations yesterday, "significant differences" still remained between the two government positions.
Reports suggest Inimician negotiators are attempting to gain reassurance the Kingdom of Reitzmag will never again apply for a nuclear weapons licence with the ENAA, while Reitzmic aims include an Inimician promise not to enter the Caspian Sea and not to station nuclear weapons at a proposed base in the Republic of Istkalen.
Nevertheless, sources further suggest Inimician demands for Reitzmic military promises not to enter the Straits of Gibraltar and Adventuranza and the Persian Gulf have fallen on deaf ears. One source commented: "Reitzmag sees its concession of nuclear weapons as hugely significant, and adding a ban on its ships entering what Inimicus sees as its waters of influence is seen as a far too stringent demand." Despite reported watering-down of these Inimician demands, Reitzmic negotiators appear adamant its navy will "go where it will".
In return, Inimicus appears to have suggested Imperial Navy ships will not enter territorial or claimed waters of Reitzmag and its allies, and to subject any possible bases in Istkalen to periodic Reitzmic inspection. These proposals were not seen to weigh up against what Reitzmic negotiations see as highly impactful Inimician demands, however.
Talks are set to continue in Nyetthem with the aim of finalising a Treaty of Detente as soon as practicable.
Orbis Terrarum, 26/2/2022 - The Imperial Defence Arsenal has announced the start of its production of the F-35 Lightning II multi-role fighter jet. Having worked closely with Duxburian developers of the state-of-the-art aircraft, the IDA expects the first units to enter production sometime in March. "Commencing production of a new line of military equipment is a hugely complex operation", the IDA's regional chairwoman Anke Gnoyle comments, "And it will take weeks, if not months, for the Orbis Terrarum facility to switch from production of the Eurofighter Typhoon to the F-35."
Given the novelty of the F-35 production line at the IDA's Orbis Terrarum Assembly Office, the first F-35s are not scheduled to roll off the production lines until later this year, with a possible, tentative first date of completion given as June 2022. The IDA reassured stakeholders in the Inimician Eurofighter project that the Empire will still use, produce, and continue to develop Eurofighter Typhoon jets alongside the F-35. Eurofighters make up the majority of the Imperial Air Force's fighter fleet at present, and Inimician Eurofighters have been exported to Inimicus's allies such as the Kingdom of Spain.
The addition of the F-35 to the Imperial Air Force's armoury marks a large development in its operational capacity. F-35 jets include up to ten air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles as well as state-of-the-art radar and reconnaisance equipment. The renewed focus of the Imperial Defence Office on electronic and cyberwarfare capabilities appears to have been a factor in the decision to produce the new jets, as F-35s include short-range cyberwarfare and signals intelligence equipment.
Defenestrated Commander Rosenfield Vows Revenge
Diessenar Terror Suspect Named, Denies Allegations with Imperial Support
Was Diessen's Manhunt for Suspect a Ploy for Mueller's Autocracy?
Commander of the Imperial Guard Investigation Unit and Special Envoy to North Diessen Albert Rosenfield made a public statement vowing "absolute and remorseless revenge" against the perpetrators of the attack against him. The statement, apparently released from somewhere inside the North Diessenar capital of Het Goor - where Rosenfield is understood to be recuperating - further suggests the attackers were individuals with official capacity in the Diessenar government: "President Mueller knows the scoundrels who attempted to kill me", Rosenfield alleges. He further claims the attack happened "Not two metres from President Mueller's desk", which appears to corroborate reports that the defenestration occurred near to, or even from the window of, the Diessenar Presidential Office.
It is unclear to what extent Rosenfield's statement was made in his official capacity as Special Envoy. "It is uncommon at best for Imperial officials to take such a personal, vengeful stance", comments Imperial Councillor Dilkes Ayla, "And if Rosenfield was given permission by His Imperial Majesty for this rant -- which I could not imagine he was -- that constitutes a grave breach of political responsibility.
The contents of Rosenfield's revenge are as yet unclear. In his statement, however, the Commander mentions "opening the Pandora's box of the North Diessenar state" and "informing the region and the world of what goes on behind the screens". No independently verifiable sources have reported corruption or oppression within the Confederal Government of North Diessen, however. Dilkes Ayla IC comments: "We shall see what Rosenfield comes up with. If it is anything of substance, and anything supported by evidence, we will take appropriate steps, especially if our involvement with the suppression of the Reuland rebellion late last year is somehow related to this."
The Imperial Palace has been approached for comment.
The terror suspect at the heart of the current diplomatic tensions between North Diessen and the Empire of Inimicus has come forward and named himself as Nestor Karaman, up until recently employed as a journalist for Diessenar newspaper the Hilverbode. In a press release from the Imperial Palace, where the Emperor has temporarily housed Karaman, the refugee journalist said he had been "accused of the most heinous crimes imaginable" but is convinced he is "innocent on every single charge." He further accused North Diessen authorities of a manhunt against "everything that is free press in the country."
The Imperial Palace confirmed Karaman had been given temporary housing inside the Imperial Palace, a privilege usually awarded only to high-ranking political refugees and personal friends and family of His Imperial Majesty. Imperial Consul Simge Galanth, who has assumed leadership of the Inimican response to Karaman's situation, declared Karaman "was an honoured guest of His Imperial Majesty for the time being, owing to his status as the centre of a large political development at present and the concerns we have for his safety."
Sources at the Imperial Guard suggest North Diessen's government have been attempting to bring Karaman back to their jurisdiction, including an attempted kidnapping during Karaman's journey from a temporary detention centre in Inimicus's northwest to the capital. This kidnapping appears to have been foiled by the Imperial Guard before it could materialise. Consul Galanth called this attempt "an utter disgrace", and called upon Ekrem Mueller's government to "resolve our differences at the negotiating table rather than the battlefield."
Rumours from inside the Imperial Palace suggests Karaman and the Emperor have struck up an immediate friendship. One source comments the two "spend most time either one has free in each other's company". His Imperial Majesty has taken a keen interest in North Diessenar affairs ever since His attempted assassination in Summer 2020, leading to Inimician intervention in the Reuland Rebellion last year.
In related news, accusations of corruption and usurpation from Inimician politicians against North Diessen's President Ekrem Mueller have surged today, following Nestor Karaman's revelations. Imperial Councillor Basil Lawson, who specialises in defence matters and has previously received the Imperial Prerogative on defence matters, stated in the Council today: "All signs point to a violent takeover by Ekrem Mueller late last year, as a result of the Reuland Rebellion." Other accusations come from Emperor's Commissioner Sven Kockelman, who demands Mueller "come clean, and come clean for real this time."
Emperor Artabanos Buys Drone Models for Inimician Children after Fleet Inspection
Above: His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos (right) and Drone Commissioner Mancov at the National Drone Show; Below: one of the one million drone models the Emperor pledged to donate to children in need
Undisclosed top-notch armaments, extensive electronic warfare capacity, fittings for tactical nuclear warheads, and deployment within mere hours anywhere in the region. The promises of Imperial Drone Commissioner and disgraced former Defence Officer Boris Mancov were extensive, yet at today's National Drone Show in Portus Inimici, these promises became real. Unveiling the revamped P.1HH reconnaisance vehicle and the brand new P.2HH attack drones, Commissioner Mancov pledged these craft "usher in a brand new era of warfare", and assured His Imperial Majesty that "whenever and wherever You see fit, a full deployment of the Empire's might is merely hours away, guided from the comforts of the Imperial Palace."
Mancov also used his 20-minute address, which followed a two-hour display of the new UAVs' capabilities in front of a huge crowd, to announce further developments in what he terms the nation's "New Generation Strike Force", including a renewed policy of two Imperial Navy Fleets being at sea at any given moment, making use of intensified relations with Inimicus's allies for supply and rearmament. The conversion of several of the Navy's light aircraft carriers to so-called "Drone Carriers" is also thought to be completed. These ships have further been retrofitted with "the latest and best" electronic warfare systems, claimed Mancov.
New Generation UAVs and electronic warfare capacities are currently being spread far and wide to Imperial Navy ships, Imperial Air Force detachments, and Imperial Army units around the region. "The sheer omnipresence of the New Generation Strike Force makes it a force to be reckoned with", said His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos at the drone show, "That, and the fact they can carry nukes. Everyone loves a good nuke." UAVs are also reported to be in transit to the recently opened Imperial Armed Forces base in Istkalen, although, as per treaty agreement, no nuclear armaments are set to be transferred there.
Emperor Artabanos further pledged to donate one million airfix models of the P.1HH to "children's hospices and young people's homes around My Empire", with the broad aim of "educating and inspiring the new generation about the New Generation." When asked whether part of the ƒ2bn fund used for development of the new drones would be used for this donation, the Emperor replied: "Can't an Emperor buy a gift for His children? Besides, doing model aircraft is my second favourite activity, besides doing -- actually, er, there are children around, aren't there. Nevermind."
In line with today's announcements, the 2nd and 3rd Fleets of the Imperial Navy set sail from Portus Inimici today, reportedly carrying up to 125 P.2HHs and an undisclosed number of P.1HH units. It is unknown whether nuclear armaments are also being carried. The two fleets have been ordered to patrol, combat piracy and illicit smuggling, and to provide logistics and humanitarian assistance wherever necessary.
Artabanos's Answers, May 2022:
Nuntius Inimici's Primary Palace News
Are the Commons Elections Even Happening?
His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos has yet to confirm whether elections for the House of Commons will take place this month, as is customary. Inimicus's lower house of the Imperial Diet sits every June for one month, and is usually called together by an Imperial Decree issuing powers to hold elections. Last year's Commons, however, saw widespread dissatisfaction among the Inimician public with proceedings in the House, leading the Emperor to threaten to re-arrange the current Commons arrangements if behaviour did not improve. The Constitution of the Empire of Inimicus mandates the Commons are to sit for one month every year; this implies the Emperor has until the end of this calendar year to either call an election, or amend the Constitution.
Did Strathclyde just confirm an Inimician nuclear triad?
During his weekly press session, Imperial Consul Christopher Strathclyde appears to have semi-accidentally betrayed part of Inimicus's nuclear arms strategy. A Nuntius Inimici reporter queried the Consul on the recent announcement that two of three Imperial Navy fleets are to be at sea permanently from now on, and will carry several advanced electronic and unmanned weaponry systems. Consul Strathclyde suggested that Imperial Air Force and Navy unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) may indeed be armed with components of the Inimician nuclear stockpile: "The Imperial Armed Forces' new P.2HH design carries a larger payload of up to 700kg, or 1500lbs. Although the specifications of the Imperial Nuclear Arsenal remain undisclosed under the Imperial Secrets Act, you will know most Inimician nuclear weapons weigh between 500 and 1000kg. Our lighter weapons are therefore suitable for this type of deployment, whereas ---"
The Palace refused to outright confirm or deny whether drones carrying nuclear weaponry are currently airborne or deployed with the Imperial Navy, however, further questioning caused the Consul to state: "Of course, for our heaviest warheads we still rely on our intercontinental missiles and bombers."
The existence of three branches of Inimicus's nuclear deterrence has never been confirmed: the Palace has always been deliberately mute when discussing the Empire's nuclear armament. However, with a land-based component in the form of ICBMs and mobile launchers, a sea-based component with carrier-mounted drones, and an airborne component using the Imperial Air Force, such a triad of nuclear capacity now seems all but confirmed.
What's going on with the Emperor and the Diessenar President?
Exchanges of more-than-political compliments, arrangements for weekly joint visits and inspections of Canal works, and immediate state visits just days after taking office: the relationship between His Imperial Majesty Emperor Artabanos and newly elected Confederal President Ekrem Karaman of North Diessen appear already in high spirits. Rumours that the Artabanos Foundation part-funded Karaman's campaign only add to the suspicion that the two statesmen have an immensely friendly standing.
The Emperor-President duo today released details of arrangements for joint inspection of the Artabanos Canal works and a "business lunch" to take place on a weekly basis, at least "until such time as Canal works are complete". Mueller and Artabanos are also scheduled to appear at the Imperial Palace on Friday, during Mueller's first formal state visit since becoming President. While foreign dignitaries are generally housed in nearby state-sponsored hotels during state visits (if they stay overnight at all), Palace sources confirm Mueller and his entourage have been afforded one of the greatest honours the Emperor may bestow on guests: a stay in His Palace.
Shortest House of Commons Campaign in Living Memory Kicks Off
Inimician Liberal Appeal leader Michael Dowding campaigns in Lacerta
Empire-wide, 12th May 2022 -- With His Imperial Majesty's Decree calling for House of Commons elections on May 15th, Inimician political parties have been scrambling to arrange campaign materials and rallies in the three days remaining before ballot day. Emperor's Movement leader and former European Councillor Hetty Tilki was seen leafleting in Telum, while the Inimician Liberal Appeal's Michael Dowding was seen at makeshift rallies in Lacerta, the Centre-Conservative Union's Henman Vern spoke to grassroots supporters in Terra Domini, and the Central Progressive Party and United Green Front came together in Portus Inimici to announce a formal electoral alliance.
The four-day campaign window is the shortest in living memory, with only the 1802 Parliamentary election being scheduled with less notice. At that time, the new Republican government called for elections to occur the very next day -- however, the electorate at the time was decidedly smaller. His Imperial Majesty justified the brief time window for campaigning in a press statement this morning, in which He declared "all evidence and all polling shows Inimicians are tired of the House of Commons and everything that comes with it." Indeed, early reports suggest Sunday's turn-out could be as low as 30-40%, which would make this year's ballot the least well-attended in Inimician history.
Dissatisfaction with the House of Commons has a long tradition in Inimicus. The original, pre-2014 House sat permanently as Inimicus's most important legislative body. Following mass corruption and expenses scandals, Emperor Artabanos dissolved the Commons indefinitely upon His accession. The House now sits every year in June and has still been riddled with scandal every session. Last year, People's Movement leader Adolf Danube attempted to prescribe Inimicus's national votes for European Commission, resulting in His Imperial Majesty having to step in to work out a compromise. Public support for the Commons has consequently dropped from over 68% in 2018 to well under 50% now.
Polling suggests a large lead for Tilki's Emperor's Finest, whose main policy appears to be the abolition of the Parliamentary system in the first place. The Finest are followed closely by traditiona arch-enemies the Inimician Liberal Appeal and the Centre-Conservative Union. The People's Movement, whose platform centers around opposition to the Imperial system of succession and the immediate impeachment of His Imperial Majesty, trail in fourth place, at around the same level of support as the new Progessive-Green alliance led by veteran politician and convicted would-be assassin Jeff Speller.