Fontan (Realm)/Judiciary/Trials/Congress of Democracy -v- Lord Jon Paul
- 1 1009 -- 6th February -- Congress of Democracy -v- Lord Jon Paul Ogren, Count of An Najaf
1009 -- 6th February -- Congress of Democracy -v- Lord Jon Paul Ogren, Count of An Najaf
That on 29th January 1009 Lord Jon Paul used his authority as Count of An Najaf to first sack and then destroy a Small Guildhouse of The Congress of Democracy in his jurisdiction, unlawfully seizing 62 gold and causing the Guild to be disbanded by the local authorities.
Full details of the evidence presented by Lord Armstrong acting on behalf of the former members of the Guild have been filed with the court and a copy is available for public scrutiny as "Case Against Lord Jon Paul Ogren" in the realm archives.
This court will investigate the following matters:
- the sacking and destruction of the guildhouse in An Najaf, amounting to the theft of 62 gold and damages in the order of
- the breaching of an oath of loyalty to the Congress of Democracy;
- perjury before the High Court.
Lord Jon Paul has five days to submit his defence in rebuttal of the evidence provided against him.
Lady Katalynfae Dragul, Chancellor of Fontan
I was indeed present when Lord Jon Paul deposited 100 gold into the treasury of the Congress. He put it there for safe keeping knowing he would have to recruit a unit soon to join the Lions in the fight in the north. He also knew that it was almost time for taxes and if anything is guilty of possible tax evasion. I can testify that he had also put gold into other guilds as well. I was also present when he received the notice that he had been charged 100 gold for his monthly fees for the Congress, a guild that he was only an aspirant of. As many may have noticed about that time suddenly the collection of fees became more active.
He has admitted that his closing of this guild was in bad judgement. He did indeed try only to regain his lost gold originally. He did also agree to Lord Duncan's judgement to rebuild the guild, in fact he offered to do so with or without the funding of the other lords. He stated that there was 10 gold in the guild that was not his, he offered to return it to whomever it belonged to. I reccommend that he send it to Lord Armstrong.
Things in this matter were exactly as Lord Jon Paul has said they were.
Notwithstanding the calls to abandon this case before a verdict was reached, the wealth of evidence provided by the plaintiffs demanded further investigation if all complaints were to be properly addressed and resolved. However due to the antagonistic nature of both parties and the unwillingness of Lord Jon Paul to cooperate with the court I decided to launch an independent investigation.
Travelling to An Najaf in the guise of merchants looking to profit from the newly reopened caravan trade with Caligus my agents used a mixture of guile and liberally applied silver to uncover a criminal conspiracy which had targeted the Congress of Democracy at the behest of party or parties unknown. The culprits were taken into custody and under aggressive interrogation befitting their crimes and status they confessed to kidnapping the guild scrivener's young daughter to force him to falsify the accounts. In total they embezzled a sum in the order of 100 gold, an unprecedented crime. Unfortunately the scrivener was killed when the gang realised that we were closing in on them and several of my agents were injured in the final arrest.
Having confessed their crimes the culprits have been executed as an example to others considering similar felonies. However my agents will continue to investigate the shadowy paymasters behind this despicable plot.
From this evidence it is clear that there was no malfeasance on the part of the governing council of the Congress of Democracy, just as Lord Jon Paul's rage at the loss of such a sizeable sum of gold was in some degree justified.
Perjury before the High Court
Whilst the accused has been less than cooperative, Lady Katalynfae's evidence substantiates his claim that he had indeed deposited 100 gold in the guild house in An Najaf. Likewise the confessions of the conspirators confirm that they did indeed spirit an equivalent sum from the guild house treasury.
Lord Jon Paul is therefore found not guilty on this count and the members of the Congress are bound over to desist in slandering him in this matter subject to a fine of 25 gold, comprising 20 gold in compensation and 5 gold in court costs.
Breaching Oath of Loyalty
As a member of the Congress of Democracy Lord Jon Paul gave his solemn oath to abide by the rules and procedures of the guild. Sacking and destroying the guild house in An Najaf clearly is in contravention of this oath.
Lord Jon Paul is found guilty on this count and ordered to make restitution in the form of service to the guild. He is bound over to protect the guild and its officers for a period of three months subject to a fine of 25 gold, comprising 20 gold in compensation and 5 gold in court costs.
Theft and Damages
Lord Jon Paul has already confessed to the sacking and destruction of the guild house in An Najaf, providing mitigating circumstances based upon his loss. This situation is complicated by his feudal duty as Count of An Najaf not only to protect the region on behalf of Fontan but his vassals as well. The proof of vassalage is the rendering of either taxes or service and in the case of the Congress the guild house in An Najaf had been paying its taxes since its establishment. The receipts presented to the court have been verified and I therefore recognise their right to claim protection from the high court and pursue compensation.
At the same time Lord Jon Paul was entitled to the return of the 100 gold he had placed in the guild house treasury for safekeeping. He has also offered to rebuild the guild house, exceeding the restitution required by Lord Duncan's court.
The core of Lord Duncan's judgement is therefore upheld, as is his ruling that a regional commander is not the sovereign authority in the region placed under their protection.
The nub of this case is the breakdown in friendly relations between Lord Jon Paul and Lord Armstrong. It is the wish of this court that they settle their differences and once more work together in the interests of Fontan and of the cause of Democracy.
I've therefore spoken at length with Lord The Revenger in his capacity as Duke of Fontan and guardian of the birthplace of our democratic traditions. He has agreed to re-establish the Congress of Democracy under his patronage and the fund which Lord Duncan established will be used for this purpose. Further if Lord Jon Paul still wishes to contribute to the construction he should send the funds to Lord The Revenger
The Congress will also be placed under the direct protection of the government and I hope that all parties will see that this strengthens the purpose of the Congress as well as giving it the recognition it requires if it is to truly represent the interests of the realm.
All former members of the governing council are to be reinstated in recognition of their previous contributions. Likewise if Lord Jon Paul still wishes to fund half of the construction costs for the new guild house he is to be promoted to their number.