11th August 2021
Door Steward: "His Imperial Majesty and the Imperial Crown Court, all rise."
Justices, led by Emperor Artabanos, enter the room and are seated at their benches.
Vice President Van Tienhoven: "Please be seated. This Court is now in session, having been empowered by the Imperial Great Seal to dispense the Emperor's Justice, and having been formally requested to rule by Commissioners of the Imperial Prosecutor's Office, on the matter of Imperial Prosecutor Extraordinaire Paulus Robinax et alii vs. Lando Ambrogio, Augustus Barrington, Maximillian de Barrington, Marco Brookfield, Dominic Dalfarra, Glennis Mayfair, and Peter Zan. Charges as brought before the Court are listed in the Order sheet.
"Before calling the learned Paul Robinax, a note from the Court to all those watching, listening, or reading: these proceedings are likely to inflame strong opinions, even societal tensions, in a great many of you. Nevertheless, the Empire of Inimicus has always been renowned for its dispensation of proper, rule-of-law justice. This case, perhaps more so than others, has been in the media's ire for over a year. We cannot, however, and must not, allow what we read and hear in the press to influence our judgements of the prosecutors, of the defendants and their representatives, and of the Court. Should any of the defendants be found not guilty, they cannot be treated as guilty by society. There is no court of appeal from here on out: not guilty means not guilty, and in the same way, a guilty verdict implies personal guilt beyond any reasonable doubt, at the highest level. Remember this. So, without further ado, I call the learned Paul Robinax for his opening statement."
IPE Robinax: "Your Imperial Majesty, Learned Justices, Vice President, thank you. Today is history. Today, the Imperial State brings those criminals the whole nation has been waiting to see in the dock to Court. Today, the attempted killers of His Imperial Majesty, the killers of a dozen others, conspirators, those who plotted behind our officials' backs to destabilise our state, will finally be brought to justice. Today is history. Learned Justices, over the coming weeks, you will hear of how a major scheme emerged in the brains of Maximillian de Barrington and his brother Augustus Barrington, who enlisted their aide Glennis Mayfair, to rid themselves of the Emperor. For years they conspired together, devising timings, using their positions to direct taxpayers' money away from the coffers of the state and into their own hands.
"These three conspirators, however, realised that any attempt on His Imperial Majesty's life would not go unpunished -- someone, somewhere, would need to fall on their swords. This, perhaps, took them the longest to figure out. They considered North Diessenian officials, and even prepared streams of fabricated evidence to air in the moments following their assassination attempt. As you will know, Learned Justices, some of this evidence did indeed make its way on the airwaves, leading to a momentary state of confusion at the Imperial Transportation Safety Agency. North Diessen's attitude to the Empire, however, changed drastically during the years the defendants plotted to assassinate the Emperor. From a watchful, hostile neighbour, North Diessen became one of Inimicus's close allies. A new culprit therefore had to be found.
"The second group of defendants, Lando Ambrogio, Marco Brookfield, and Peter Zan, provided the opportunity for blame-taking to the conspirators on a silver platter. The Social Republican Army, the terrorist group they adhered to, had been in control of the Angleteric Territory of Neo-Venetia for multiple years when the Barrington brothers and Mayfair first approached them. Months of underground contact, evidence for which I shall present to the Court, established a friendly relationship between both groups of defendants, to the point at which records show all seven defendants meeting near the Inimician-Venetian border to revel, drink, and joke.
"We all know what happened that fateful day in July 2020. The glamorous news reports of the first Inimician supersonic jet taking flight. His Imperial Majesty, positive as ever, excited at the prospect of traversing our Empire in mere minutes. Then, the flames, the fire, the smoke. Pictures of burning people running from wreckage. His Imperial Majesty clutching onto life. The nation, indeed, the whole region, was silent, and crowds gathered in every major Inimician city in peace and thought for those affected. Little did they know that His Imperial Majesty had been shot down by a missile fired by Marco Brookfield and Peter Zan, on the orders of Dominic Dalfarra, who knew exactly when and where to fire after having been given all necessary intelligence by Maximillian de Barrington, Augustus Barrington, and Glennis Mayfair.
"The nation mourned, and answers were in short supply. Maximillian de Barrington's task in the immediate aftermath of the assassination would be to direct attention away from the scene of the crash by engaging in a power struggle with Vicarius Wilfred Cocx. Augustus Barrington ensured he was in Europolis, as far away from the crash as possible. Mayfair was where she always was, in the shadows, unnoticed by anyone. Maximillian's struggle, however, did not entirely succeed -- in a fit of rage, he betrayed key information to Vicarius Wilfred Cocx, who, Learned Justices, I will call as a witness in this trial. The Vicarius's experiences, then, directly led to the start of investigations by the Imperial Guard.
"The Guard, effective as it is, soon discovered signs of the massive conspiracy. At record speed, the crimes of the Barringtons and Mayfair became known to our intelligence services -- as they will soon become known to you -- and a trap was set. De Barrington, who suspected something was amiss, attempted to flee to Neo-Venetia, to the arms of his criminal friends, but was narrowly apprehended by provincial law enforcement in Terra Diutius. Mayfair, lurking in her shadows, was successfully apprehended.
"It was all too late for Augustus Barrington, who was awaited by an Imperial Guard team on his flight back from Telum that fateful day. However, Dominic Dalfarra's connections in the Neo-Venetian regime, whose intelligence services permeate our entire continent, warned Augustus of his impending arrest, leading Imperial law enforcement on a wild goose chase in Leagio, where Augustus Barrington was involved with a notorious underground organisation. It was only through the personal efforts of Imperial Consul Christopher Strathclyde and Imperial Guard Commander Albert Rosenfield that Augustus Barrington was finally brought back to the Empire.
"As for the second group of defendants, they felt safe in Neo-Venetia. Vicarius Cocx, however, ensured their safety was purely temporary. Personally directing military operations, the Vicarius issued warrants for all three coupists' arrests, and saw to it that they were captured and made it back to Inimicus in chains, at great cost to the Imperial Armed Forces. Justice, however, is the ultimate reward.
"Learned Justices, this is the brief summary of the most fateful, most impressive, and at the same time the most horrendous major conspiracy in Inimician history. You will hear from over thirty witnesses, ranging from the top of the Inimician State apparatus to first responders on the scene of the crash. You will see documents, records, phone taps, recorded conversations, making apparent the crimes of all seven defendants. I implore you, Learned Justices: do right by the Inimician People, and do right by its Emperor. Thank you."
Vice President Van Tienhoven: "Thank you, Mr. Robinax. This Court has judged in pre-trial hearings that defendants AMBROGIO, DALFARRA, and ZAN, are to be tried collectively, and defendants BARRINGTON, DE BARRINGTON, and MAYFAIR, are similarly to be collectively represented. Therefore, I now call the learned Roberto Materella for his opening statement in defence of the first group of Defendants."