Paramilitaries Seize Sabotage Suspect; Republic Forces Helpless
Nakugard – Kammas Grayli, prime suspect in the Nakugard sabotage case, has been kidnapped by paramilitaries of unknown allegiance while in the custody of the Republic Customs Service. A spokesman for the Republic Justice Department stated that customs officers were unable to resist as overwhelming numbers of masked gunmen, backed by unflagged cruisers in close orbit, stormed the Customs Service holding facility.
Jomain Ariakor, an official of the Republic Justice Department, read out a statement on the affair: "At dawn today, approximately 300 heavily-armed paramilitaries surrounded the main Republic Customs Service compound in Nakugard, where prisoner Grayli was being held pending investigations being completed. These masked troops were reinforced by several unmarked armoured personnel carrier and light tanks. It was also noted that several cruisers without flag-markings or identifier beacons settled into low orbit over the area of the compound."
"The paramilitary commander demanded that the Customs Service release Grayli into his custody," continued Ariakor, "but this was refused by the compound commandant. Following this, the gunmen forced entry to the compound with an armoured vehicle and proceeded to disarm the customs personnel who were outnumbered by a factor of ten to one. The prisoner Grayli was then removed from his cell and taken into custody by the militia force. They then withdrew, leaving a wrecked compound and having abused loyal customs officers, taking their kidnap victim with them."
Asked if any customs officers had been injured, Ariakor said, "No officer was physically injured but I believe the whole experience must have been psychologically shocking. It is disgraceful that loyal servants of the Minmatar Republic are treated this way. What is more, the rights of a Republic citizen to a free and fair trial are being shamefully trampled by this act of banditry!"
Ariakor went on to reveal that the Justice Department had received intelligence indicating that Grayli was later delivered to senior members of the Krusual Tribe. "We believe that the Krusual intend to put Grayli before a tribal court. Indeed, that these paramilitaries have handed Grayli over to the Krusual is highly suggestive. We call on the Krusual Tribe to respect the laws of the Republic and return the prisoner to the proper authorities. I am sure the honourable people of the Krusual would not wish to associate themselves with the criminal actions of a thuggish minority."
Tobias Efrit, a Krusual parliamentarian, responded, "While I repudiate this so-called 'intelligence', the Republic Justice Department forgets that the Republic is a state made up of tribes, as well as citizens. Tribal law and custom is very clear in a case of mass-murder such as this. The Krusual Tribe is well within its rights to use the time-honoured tribal system and exercise justice in accordance with tribal traditions. Over 80 Krusual were killed, not to mention other Minmatar. Never forget that. We shall not."
Efrit would not be drawn on the fate of Grayli, "I have no knowledge of this man's whereabouts and very much doubt any tribal authorities know what has happened to him. I dare say justice will be done and if so we shall not mourn him." The Republic Justice Department maintains that if any Krusual are holding Grayli they are complicit in 'breaking and entering, menacing Republic officials, assault, and kidnapping' and has vowed to seek Parliamentary approval for an investigation into the tribe's role in the affair.