KINGDOM OF LOQUNTIA (DM) – The trial of former Loquntian Governor-General Dallin Langford has fallen apart due to an altercation between defense counsel Barrister Dylan Callahan and King John I, who is serving as judge in the matter.
According to logs published on the MicroWiki forum by the King, the defense counsel contended that the King was unable to try the case impartially because he had “a personal and hostile view of the defendant” proven by testimony. The King had earlier testified that he agreed with the defense’s assertions that supposed slanderous claims made by the defendant were “calling into question your personal integrity”. It is suggested that Mr. Langford “accused myself of violating the rights of DRCC citizens by asking him to disclose medical record, as well as accusing myself of staging a coup within the DRCC, stating that there were other Loquntian citizens living in the DRCC other than himself,” according to testimony from King John.
Mr. Langford stands accused of insubordination, nominal treason, and interference in an investigation.
His counsel, Barrister Callahan, insisted that the King’s conflict of interest made his judging the tribunal imcompatible with the court returning a fair result, and insisted that the defense intended to “resubmit for a petition for a replacement judge.” When this offer was rejected, on grounds that that was not how the Loquntian court system works, the defense counsel “declined further participation”, and left the courtroom.
The court was then put into recess to allow Langford’s new counsel, Mike Lewis, time to reconsider the defense’s position in light of the events of the trial.
The aftermath of these events is interesting to observe.
Dylan Callahan, now former defense counsel to Dallin Langford, has maintained that he will be bringing suit with the Mcarthian Department of Justice in this matter, regarding the “rights” of Mr. Langford “being infringed” upon. President McCarthy later confirmed this, maintaining that he would be seeking dialogue with the First Minister of Mcarthia to determine an “appropriate response”. It is not clear whether the Department of Justice has the authority to act on this matter.
On the forums, Callahan and King John I had a further argument over whether King John should have recused himself from judging the trial from a knowing conflict of interest. Mr. Callahan maintained that the King had an “ethical duty” to withdraw, having known he would be unable to judge the case impartially. The King contended that the defense had ample opportunity to request a change of judge at any time prior to the commencement of the trial, he having, in his words, “told [him] everything”, and that an appeal would certainly be humoured after the trial’s conclusion.
However, relations rapidly soured further. Mr. Callahan insisted the King had “burned… [his] bridge”, and that “R v. Langford is over and done with. What you unilaterally decide to do at this point is between you and the fly on the wall.”
The King has changed the name of the case to R ex parte Langford, and has reportedly “excluded” Langford and counsel from proceedings, maintaining that the “trial will proceed without them”.
Mr. Langford has maintained that the case is a “sham”, reiterating the need for what he describes as a “fair and honest trial”. The second session of the trial is scheduled for the 25th of November, 2016 at 12:00 local time (18:00 GMT).