The Galahad v. The Brigade Trial was a landmark 2011 Lovian Supreme Court trial that was initiated by Member of the Congress Percival E. Galahad on February 8, 2011. Galahad charged Prime Minister Ygo August Donia, Cristian Latin, Friedrich Steiner, and all other members of The Brigade, Donia's private militia, with the violation of the Firearms Act. The Court would all the accused guilty.
Starting the case
Judge: I declare this a federal case, based on the fact that the charges concern violations of the Federal Law (Criminal Law Book: Firearms Act). 09:45, February 8, 2011 (UTC)
Judge: Let the plaintiff please present us with the accusations, and his demands. 09:45, February 8, 2011 (UTC)
Plaintiff: Your Honor, I would like to request the initiation of a Supreme Court trial, wherein I, the plaintiff, charge several individuals with violation of the Federal Law. I wish to charge the following persons: Ygo August Donia, Cristian Latin, Friedrich Steiner, and all other not yet identified members of the "Brigade".
I charge these individuals with the violation of the Firearms Acts in the Federal Law, most notably arms possession and non-legal usage thereof. I base my charges on their possession of arms on February 7, 2011, although any other day from the approval of the bill until today would have been possible.
My official charge shall be:
- illegal gun ownership (1.2)
- ownership of firearms with military intent (220.127.116.11)
- organization of a private militia within the Kingdom of Lovia (3.1)
I demand total disarmament of all associated members and a fit authoritative imposition, be it imprisonment, therapy, community service and/or financial punishment. I hereby wish to initiate a Supreme Court trial. 10:13, February 9, 2011 (UTC)
Judge: Taken notice of that. The plaintiff charges the accused with several violations of the Firearms Act, and demands the dissolution of the "Brigade" and fit punishment. I request the defendants to carefully consider the charges. 11:34, February 9, 2011 (UTC)
Parties and representatives
The following parties are involved in the trial:
- Plaintiff - represented by himself
- Defendants - represented by Marcus Villanova (Luca and Villanova Attorneys at Law)
- Ygo August Donia, first-in-command at The Brigade
- Cristian Latin, second-in-command
- Friedrich Steiner, third-in-command
- Adolphe LeBrun, member
- Alessandro Stabler, member
- Alexander Donders, member
- Basch Repstra, member
- Bernadotte de Bruijn, member
- Bernd Bernard Donia, member
- Bruno Banda, member
- Charles Duke, member
- Daniëlle Sepers, member
- Dick Johnson, member
- Elaine Vandyke, member
- Ivo Carlton Donia, member
- John Williamson, member
- Levi Arnoldson, member
- Patrice Dungo, member
- Samir Tutilimutili, member
- Sarah David, member
- Serge Hovenberg, member
- Shmuel Goodman, member
- Wilma Allevin, member
- Wolfgang Bernard Banda, member
Reading the case
Judge: The plaintiff, P.E. Galahad, has filed a lawsuit against the defendants, referred to collectively as "the Brigade". Mr P.E. Galahad will represent himself in court. The defendants' party has not yet appointed a lawyer to represent them. The reading of the case will continue when Mr Y.A. Donia has confirmed the full list of members of "the Brigade", as well as their lawyer in court. The Supreme Court urges the defendants to do this correctly and quickly. 11:34, February 9, 2011 (UTC)
Judge: We will proceed with the reading of the case. The defendants' party will be represented in court by Mr M. Villanova from Luca and Villanova Attorneys at Law. The full list of the accused is available for all to check. Each of them have been accused by Mr P.E. Galahad. 18:18, February 9, 2011 (UTC)
Plaintiff's first round
Judge: I call upon the plaintiff, P.E. Galahad, to come forward and deliver his first round. According to the Constitution and the conventions of this court, you will be allowed to speak to the Supreme Court "in order to convince the Supreme Court Judge of the truthfulness of the made claims." You may bring forward witnesses, if you please. Please provide the court with all of the relevant evidence and none of the irrelevant. Irrelevant matter shall not be taken into account. You have the constitutional right to ask the defendants questions directly relating to the accusations. Please swear to the court that you shall speak the truth and nothing but the truth in this court - you are under oath. 18:18, February 9, 2011 (UTC)
Plaintiff: Your Honor, in January of this year, a majority of three quarters of our great Congress passed the Firearms Act. It was - certainly in part - written in response to the creation of the “Brigade”, Mr Donia’s private army. The Brigade’s priority? “Anyone who grants himself unauthorized entry to property belonging to the Donia Clan will be shot on sight.” That was January 2nd of this year. Since then, Mr Donia expanded his private army. When the Firearms Act was proposed to Congress, Mr Donia tried to make his Brigade a respectable organization, that cares for the environment. Yes, as it turns out, Mr Donia had created a private militia with the noble aim of protecting the grounds that don’t even belong to Mr Donia.
In my opinion, this mafia and its leaders are a threat to our society. Violence to keep "unauthorized" people away from his former residence?
Now, Your Honor, Mr Donia’s Brigade has broken the laws of Lovia. The Firearms Act, passed February 1st, prohibits the possession and usage of all firearms in Lovia, with two exceptions: police officers during their professional duty, and licensed hunters. Furthermore, the Firearms Act prohibits private militias in Lovia.
Let us begin, Your Honor, with my accusation of the Brigade being a private militia on Lovian soil, and therefore illicit. The Federal Law defines a private militia as “any organization, either formally and nominally military or not, that is characterized by the presence of firearms, and that is not operated by the federal government of Lovia to ensure the nation's safety.” The Brigade is characterized by the presence of firearms, is operated by private citizens, and is both in form and name a military organization. It is inconceivable that our very own Prime Minister administers a private militia at a time when the very Federal Law, which he should protect, prohibits such. Should this be Congress rather than court, I would call for a motion of non-confidence.
I consider this blunt violation of the Federal Law to be the gravest violation in this trial. Two national politicians, of which one has responsibility over our very own democratic institutions, have broken a crucial law in the process of democracy.
Furthermore, none – and I emphasize this - none of the members of the “Brigade” has a firearms license. They may claim to do so, but they don’t. Evidently, there is no need for them to have one: they are not hunters, but militiamen. If any of the Brigade members claim to be hunters, this court should sue them for not having a license, for collective usage of firearms (which is forbidden under clause 1.2.6), and for abusing their license for other purposes than recreational or professional hunting. In that peculiar case, they have broken even more laws.
If, Your Honor, the defendants’ party chooses to defend their right to carry firearms, I will come forward with the required legal evidence that they do not have a (legitimate) license. Obviously, the accused have no reason to do so: they have no license and they are in no way hunters. It is the mere military intention of this mafia organization that makes it so illicit.
Your Honor, I do not feel the need to call forward witnesses. The evidence is all publicly available: in the laws of Lovia, and in the very existence of the Brigade itself. The statements of Mr Donia and the Brigade’s members speak for themselves.
Mr Donia, Latin, Steiner and their Brigadiers have broken the law in a very blunt and dangerous way. As a politician, and as a citizen, I will not allow this irresponsible behavior from our Prime Minister. I shall not compare him to military dictators or the kind of leaders that considers the law to be of no importance to them. Be it, however, in the minds of every Lovian.
Your Honor, I have delivered my first round. 19:10, February 9, 2011 (UTC)
Judge: Your first round has been delivered to this court, and we have taken into account the arguments and evidence you have brought forward. I take it you, the plaintiff, charge Mr Donia and his "Brigade" in the first place with the violation of the militia clause. I would also like to note that Mr P.E. Galahad has brought forward the public debate: whether our Prime Minister fulfills a responsible function in society. The court has taken this all into account. 19:24, February 9, 2011 (UTC)
Defendants' first round
Judge: The defendants will be represented in court by the Villanova attorneys and Justin Abrahams. I call forward their lawyer, who will speak in the name of the collective of the accused. The main accused have the right to say something to this court as well, as long as it remains within the limits of the laws and conventions of this court. Your primary intention should be to plea either guilty or not guilty. You must bring forward all that is directly related to the accusations, and nothing irrelevant. All irrelevancies will be scrapped from the records. You may call forward witnesses and evidence. If there are extenuating circumstances, you may bring forward witnesses and evidences related to them. The Brigade's environmental intentions are not the topic of this trial: the Court urges the defendants to speak in relation only to the accusations and possible extenuating circumstances.
You have five days' time to prepare and deliver your first round. 19:24, February 9, 2011 (UTC)
Defendant: The Brigade was created initially by me in order to protect my private property. They also served (and still do) as a bodyguard meant to protect both my life and those of my relatives and associates. To this I admit. As our nation’s PM-to-be I decided I had to take measures into my own hands when it comes to my protection and the protections of those who were near to me. Being a rather controversial politician, I have made many enemies over the past years. My account has been repeatedly hacked and I have received death-threats from those who apparently wish to do me harm. This I could not accept, under no circumstances. That is why I created the Brigade. Each member who joined would go through a thorough background check: none of them should have a criminal record and none of them should have any sort of mental or physical condition detrimental to their functioning. Another important issue was that they were to carry arms, for without arms they could not properly protect me and prevent any attempts to harm me. Which people usually carry arms, I asked to myself? Policemen and hunters, I imagined, would be perfect. Both categories of people have experience with firearms and both are licensed to carry arms and use them.
So I asked around and so did others and quickly I gathered around me a group of hunters and (ex)policemen and women. I did so on the Second of January, 2011. See this page for evidence that right from the very beginning, the members of the Brigade were licensed gun-owners. The Plaintiff in this case, Mr. Galahad, mentions that none of our members has a firearms license. This is not true – when I officially created the Brigade in January, as the evidence clearly shows, the initial twenty members all were in possession of such a license. Prior to founding the Brigade, all members were trained to use their guns and believe me, Your Honor, they have been well-trained. In fact training first began months prior to the creation of what is regarded by some as a militia.
What is then, I ask myself, the definition of a militia and does my “private army” fit that description?
- ”A group of private citizens who train for military duty in order to be ready to defend their state or country in times of emergency. A militia is distinct from regular military forces, which are units of professional soldiers maintained both in war and peace by the federal government”
Let’s take a look at the Brigade. Is it a group of private citizens? Yes sir it is, no point in denying this fact. Do they then also train for military duty in order to be ready to defend their country in times of emergency? No, they do not. There is no military in Lovia and thus no military duty so they do not fit the given criteria. A militia is distinct from regular military forces, which are units of professional soldiers maintained both in war and peace by the federal government. Well this is quite interesting! Am I not the Prime Minister of Lovia and a Member of the Congress? Am I, therefore, not a member of the federal government? Even more so: I am the government, I represent the government. And the government was and still is unable to defend my life, and therefore I was forced into creating what the plaintiff refers to as a militia. Yet they are not a militia. They are brave men and women who choose to protect me and who choose to safeguard the Prime Minister of this great nation we all live in! They are all true patriots, every single one of these people and for that I salute them. They refuse to allow anyone to threaten the life of their beloved Prime Minister. Is that not an admirable quality in these brave men and women, Your Honor? They are not thugs and are greatly affected by the accusations made by the plaintiff, comparing them to mafia members or mobsters serving a dictator. Why make such harsh statements? These people have a difficult enough time as it is, there is no need to insult them. This greatly saddens me and on behalf of those who have been insulted, I demand an official apology from Mr. Galahad. And then, I quote:
- ”If any of the Brigade members claim to be hunters, this court should sue them for not having a license, for collective usage of firearms (which is forbidden under clause 1.2.6), and for abusing their license for other purposes than recreational or professional hunting. In that peculiar case, they have broken even more laws”
This is wrong on so many levels, Mr. Galahad, for God’s sake! First of all, as I have proven earlier they all do have licenses and are therefore licensed hunters. You claim they do not, which, looking at the evidence, is a clear and blatant lie. Collective usage of firearms? Not at all, not at all. Usage of firearms would imply that the guns were used by the Brigade (as in: to shoot) and they were not. They were loaded and they were carried yet never fired on anything other then a duck or a deer in areas designated for hunting. You could charge them with collective ownership of guns, however for that they are licensed and the weaponry contains merely rifles and simple handguns, no heavy material that would not be used for hunting. Abusing their license, then. How so? I cannot come up with any way in which the members of the Brigade have ever abused their licenses. Their license gives them the right to own a gun and to carry a gun. It gives them the right to fire it at an animal for the purpose of hunting or at a firing range for target practice. A right they were free to use. Did they ever threaten anyone? No. Did they ever physically harm anyone? Again, the answer is no. In no way the members of the Brigade have ever harmed anyone nor would they have ever done so. Their goal was primarily to prevent others from causing harm, which is an admirable goal in which they have, to this day, succeed very well.
So it has been established: the members of the Brigade are brave and admirable and highly patriotic people. They each have a clean criminal record and they all carry gun licenses. Yet they are being called, I quote, a “mafia organisation”. I take this as a personal attack and an insult to the Brigadiers who defend me and my family and, again, I demand an apology for it.
To the first charge, that of illegal gun-ownership, I plead not guilty as the fact that the accused all own a license makes their gun-ownership legal and not restricted by law. To the second charge, that of ownership of firearms with military intent, I, too, plead not guilty – the intent was, initially. merely to hunt and do target practice – and later to protect my life, rather then to endanger the lives of others as the Plaintiff suggests. As for the third charge, I believe the Brigade does not fit the official criteria of a militia and therefore I plead: not guilty on all charges.
Your Honor, this was my first round. 17:57, February 16, 2011 (UTC)
Yor Honor, I have come forth to this temple of justice, with the truthful intent of proving these fine men and women of The Brigade to be not guilty to all charges set upon them.
1. It is not proper, true or right to call The Brigade, as my client has pointed out, a militia. A militia is specifically defined as a "military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service."
The Brigade does provides defense to the Donia Family, but it is of known fact that The Brigade does-and-has not provided emergency law enforcement or paramilitary service, even in times of emergency. Furthermore, it has not been endorced by the government to perform such duties. Secondly, members of the Brigade are volunteers; they do not receive payment for their work, and are as such not to be regarded as a militia.
2. The primary role of The Brigade is not as a security force but as a hunting club. All of the members are licensed hunters, who are known to protect wildlife and apprehending poachers. They are a aluable asset to this great nation, but are not valued as such.
3. The Brigade and its members are sometimes refered to as violent, but is a preposterous lie. They are merely protecting people and animals, and hunting in small amounts as to not destroy the balance of the ecosystem. Never in the Brigade's history has there been an episode of vilent nature, or involving actual violence. There has been no cases where a Brigade member has shot and/or killed a person, or has threatened a person with bodily harm. What is more, the Brigade was officially founded on the second of January, 2011, some time before the Firearms Act was proposed to congress, and nearly a month before it passed the first chamber, on February 1st.
Your honor, these people, just like every other Lovian, want thir friends and family to be safe and secure. They in no way intended to break the law in any form. They just wanted to ensre that the law was followed (in the case of poachers) and to keep their loved ones safe. I would like to ask that this high court, wholly and without consequence, find The Brigade and all its members not guilty to the charges wrongly placed upon them. HORTON11 18:56, February 16, 2011 (UTC)
I shall now start questioning and my speech: First I'd like to call Ygo Donia to the stand.
- Donia: Here I am, Mr. Villanova.
- Villanova: Thank you, Why did you start the brigade?
- Donia: I did so because I felt threatened. I have many enemies, you see, and attempts have been made at my life. I knew I was going to be our next Prime Minister and I wanted to protect both myself and my next of kin and close associates. A rather logical and understandable discussion, you understand, and I did not have much of a choice.
Let this be stated that such families like the Robert Luciano's family, Drabo's Family, User:Misterr have made threats to Donia, others, and the country so in result we should be proud to have the brigade to make sure they protect us from insane Mexican Drug Dealers and Neo-Nazis.
- Villanova: So have they Brigade actually ever hurt anyone? (and if so say so)
- Donia: They never physically or mentally hurt or threatened anyone. They never abused their power and they never raised a fist. They did not fire a single shot at anyone nor did they held their guns in such fashion it would appear that way. The conduct of our members has always been friendly and correct - they once rescued a cat form a tree for example and repaired the tires of an old farmer's truck. They were well loved by the local inhabitants of rural areas and held in high regard by the staff of the national park in the Emeral Highlands.
- Villanova: Do you still today own weapons such as guns or semi-automatic weapons?
- No sir we do not. In fact we never had such guns - our members only carried rifles and handguns yet never automatic or semi-automatic weapons. Seven of our members did, however, own such guns in their private collection. I told them I did not wish for anyone to be caught with these illegal guns and that the sole fact that they were in possession of weapons of such nature could possibly put the entire Brigade in a bad light. Ashamed as they were after this confrontation, they decided to leave. I have always made it very clear that we would always operate within the bounderies of the law and so we did. The seven members that were in possession of these illegal firearms left the Brigade two weeks before the beginning of this trial - I gave a list of their names and ages to Judge Jefferson.
- Villanova: You may step down now.
- Donia: Thanks for having me and I hope I have answered your questions properly and to your satisfaction.
- Villanova: Thank You.
So as we have stated the group does not have horrible mass-destruction weapons or anything harmful. The Brigade checks up with all laws and reason. If we can not orginize and do things on our private land then what has this country came to? Laws being passed limiting freedoms and the right to orginize! This law is not only wrong b u I'm calling for a dismissal of the trial do to it being undemocratic. Marcus Villanova Music is Life.Lean Forward.PCP 20:39, February 17, 2011 (UTC)
Judge: The Court will take your defense into consideration. We will investigate the evidence and arguments brought forward, and will summarize them before starting with the second rounds. The Court already asks Mr Galahad whether he wishes to use his second round, and if so, to prepare it. Mr Galahad will be allowed to speak (if he wishes to do so), after the Court has summarized and considered the defense fully and in detail. 17:58, February 18, 2011 (UTC)
Judge: As requested by the defendants, the Court will provide a summary of the defendants’ first round, including an analysis of their arguments. The Court will also make brief mention of elements still missing to fulfill the trial, so that both parties can engage with those in their next rounds.
In brief, Mr Donia first explained his intentions in creating the Brigade. Mr Donia defends this creation as a necessity for his personal safety. He went on to mention that each of its members were licensed and trained gun owners.
Then, the primary defendant elaborated on the definition of a militia and the possibility of the Brigade being one. Mr Donia has made use of a definition from an extra-legal source in doing so. The Court wishes to point out that, when the law provides a definition, that one is the one the Court shall take into account.
The defendant then moves on to the charges against him concerning the alleged lack of firearms licenses. The Court would like to see the material evidence on this matter. Mr Galahad, the plaintiff, claims there is none, whereas the defendant Mr Donia claims all men and women of the Brigade were licensed hunters. If so, the Court wants to see the material evidence in the second round.
The Court dismisses Mr Donia’s request for a public apology by Mr Galahad.
Mr Abrahams, an attorney at law representing the defendants, has then taken the word. He repeated what Mr Donia had earlier said: that the Brigade does not meet the requirements of a militia, that it is not a military branch, but rather a hunting club, and that they are non-violent.
At last, Mr Villanova, also acting on behalf of the defendants, has delivered a defense, in which he called forth Mr Donia as a witness. Mr Donia said the Brigade has no history of violence and only used appropriate firearms.
The Court has taken all the defendants’ arguments into consideration. There are a number of elements that require clarification and elaboration in the second round, certainly in the defense’ plea. First of all, the Court would like to see the material evidence of the alleged hunting licenses. Second, the court would like to make clear it will only take the legal definition of a militia into account (as found in Section 2 of the Firearms Act). Thirdly, the Court would like to make clear that not the constitutionality of the Firearms Act is the subject of this trial, but the alleged violation of it by the defendants. One may claim that militia X is not violent (and it may be true), the fact is a militia is prohibited within the Kingdom. The Court requests the defendants to elaborate on the actual accusations (that "the Brigade is a militia") in order to prove their innocence.
Plaintiff's second round
Judge: The Court calls upon Mr Galahad the plaintiff to deliver his second round in court. 09:26, March 13, 2011 (UTC)
Plaintiff: Thank you, Your Honor.
Although the defendants have tried hard to distract us from the facts, this case is a simple one. It is not a political trial, not about the basics of what the state and judicial can do, not about fundamental rights or tricky definitions. It is about one very clear piece of legislation and one very blunt violation thereof. Mr Donia and his "private army" - his words - are according to the definition provided in the Firearms Act a private militia. That, ladies and gentlemen here in the Court, is a fact.
Another fact is that they have no license to own a gun. Why not? Licenses were only introduced in early February of 2011. None of the Brigadiers requested one since then. So, no licenses.
The tricky thing about these hunting licenses is, of course, that they are for hunting, and not for militias. Even if they had one, the Brigade would be violating the militia clause, and would also - on top of that - be breaking the clause that forbids the usage of a hunting license for anything else than legal hunting.
I would like to re-consider the charges and my demands. First of all, I must stress the political and public responsibility Mr Donia has in this country. He is our national leader - that is, being elected Prime Minister. Yet, he is irresponsible and a possible threat to our national safety. I therefore wish to revise my demands in this trial. I request Mr Donia, if found guilty, to receive a severe authoritative imposition, namely a period of imprisonment, combined with community service after the completion thereof. I also request that the Court taketh off his Lovian citizen rights. This in order to save our nation from his irresponsible politics. For all members, including Mr Donia, I request total disarmament and fit punishment. In this, I request the leaders to be more severely punished than the regulars, for they have led an entire group towards breaking the law and the peace. At last, I request a restraining order for all the defendants, that they may not enter a perimeter around the Donia Castle for a certain period.
Your Honor, I feel that I have brought forth the evidence required by the court. The definition of a militia, as well as the plain facts, are in the hands of the Court. Thank you. 08:00, March 15, 2011 (UTC)
Judge: Your second and final round has been delivered to this court, and we have taken into account the arguments and evidence you have brought forward. The Court has taken notice of you having raised your demands, considering the public responsibility of the primary defendant. 15:18, March 15, 2011 (UTC)
Defendants' second round
Judge: The Court wishes to proceed to the defendants' second round. The Court stresses the need to elaborate on the accusations and arguments brought forward by the plaintiff in his second round, and on the issues pointed out by the Court earlier. Please be brief and concise. 15:18, March 15, 2011 (UTC)
Defendants:This trial is now, luckily, in it’s closing days. As far as I know, this Second Round will be our last, both for the Plaintiff and us, the unenviable Defendants. I speak not only for myself, but also for those not with us today – our friends Mr. Steiner and Mr. Latin, who are either unable or unwilling to attend for reasons not further specified.
Let me start with pointing out that the last thing that is on my mind, is to “distract you (the Court) from the facts”, as Mr. Galahad claims. That is not at all what I am doing, and it insults me to hear how lowly the Plaintiff thinks and speaks of me and my honourable and beloved associates, loyal and helpful people who only wish to help me the way I helped them in their career and in their lives. As I have tried to explain before, sadly to no avail, I was forced to create the so-called “Brigade” as my life has been, and still is, in mortal danger. Not a single day goes by without me fearing for both my own safety, and first and foremost, that of my immediate relatives, my friends and family. Not to allow me to protect myself would be the end of me, that much I can tell you, and while I could be coerced to give up this protection, I would never allow myself to be put in a position in which I would voluntarily endanger the lives of those dearest to me. The Lovian police force is, and has proven to be, unable to fully guarantee my safety and that of my family – just last year, my very own father, God have mercy on his soul, was brutally murdered within the walls of his own home. Not even in our own households, are we truly safe. Lovia does not have a large police force, contrary to popular belief. We have to few police officers to guard people 24\7, they are needed elsewhere in the nation. You know why I founded the Brigade, and you know I did not have much of a choice. Closing down the Brigade without offering a solution would be the end of me and my family, please keep that in mind as we proceed.
A very tricky part of this trial, and an important one, if not vital, is the Hunting Licenses owned by my Brigadiers. The Firearms Act was indeed introduced in February 2011. It provides a legal description of cases in which use of Firearms are allowed, and by whom. It also elaborates on the requirements for one to obtain a Gun License which I required to hunt. One thing must be very clear, however: never does it say that no such thing as a “Gun License” or a “Hunting license” existed prior to the passing of this aforementioned Act. It is a known fact that Members of the Royal family as well as statesmen from both past and present times have hunted or still hunt. If I am to believe Mr. Galahad, none of this would have been possible. The terms which a hunter must meet in order to apply for a Hunting License were further specified in the February 2011 Act, that I agree on. But that no such licenses existed prior to February 2011 is a blatant lie. Our government has always been progressive and advanced, am I now to believe that before February of this year, everyone could have gone out to hunt, without any restrictions? That old men, young children, criminals and scum, where allowed to carry arms at all times and go outdoors hunting, shooting as many animals as they desired? That there was no such thing as a gun license? Thus implying that anyone, regardless of skill, background or intentions, could carry arms prior to February 2011? If this would be true than Lovia has been a complete anarchy ever since being founded in the early 1870s. Which obviously is a blatant lie, because for the most part our history has been peaceful and quiet, if not somewhat lame.
All members of what Mr. Galahad claims to be a militia, meet the requirements of a Hunting License as described in aforementioned act of law. And they were in possession of a similar license prior to February already. Because hunting licenses where not just introduced for the first time in Lovian history with the arrival of the Firearms Act! They have been here all along. The only thing the Firearms Act did, and for this I praise those who wrote it and proposed it, was to further specify the conditions one had to meet in order to apply for a Hunting License in the near future. Once again, let me make very clear that never the act mentions no such license existed before. All it does is clarify the conditions under which a license is to be obtained from now on. Mr. Galahad has proven himself to be incapable of producing any evidence whatsoever that disproof’s my claims of the existence of a Gun- or Hunting-license. I, however, have been able to provide the Court with this source that clearly shows that from the very beginning, the “Brigadiers” have been licensed gun-owners and where legally allowed to carry arms when the Brigade was founded. As can be seen, this source dates back to January 2, 2011, which is almost two full months prior to the passing of the Firearms Act. Our members, also, fall under the given requirements of licenses as they are now defined by law, as they did with previous requirements for the previous licenses.
Firearms, as the Plaintiff has rightfully pointed out, may not be used for anything but hunting under the current laws that are in effect. And they were never used in such a way, as I have already told before. They were never fired, just carried. May a hunter not carry the rifle he owns to hunt to the shooting range, or to the area in which he or she is about to use it for the purpose of hunting game? The Brigade did indeed carry their guns, in my company, while in the Emerald Highlands, an area which is rich in wildlife and ideal for hunting. Because, above all, these people are hunters, not thugs or hoodlums, not trained bodyguards or active policemen (whereas some of them where ex-policemen, which I do not deny). The Court appears to be under the impression that wherever I go, the Brigade follows me, and that they walk down the street, guns in hand, beside me. Which is of course not true – only in the areas designated for hunting and own my personal property, they can and will be seen. And above all: they knew the law and they were well aware of it’s contents and careful not to break it.
Let me get into the official, legal definition of a militia as stated in the 2011 Firearms Act:
- ”A private militia is any organization, either formally and nominally military or not, that is characterized by the presence of firearms, and that is not operated by the federal government of Lovia to ensure the nation's safety.”
Let us take a close look at what exactly this tells us, shall we? First of all, and this is very important, it tells us that a private militia is an organization. Is my Brigade an organization, Your Honor? No sir, it is not. It is a group of hunters who have been known to accompany me on my own property, in my own house and in the forest surrounding my property. They are not an organization. My family often surrounds me in my household and when I am hunting. Does that make my brothers and my uncles the members of an organization? Does that make the friends I go to the pub with every now and then, “an organization”? No, of course not! This means that the Brigade cannot be a militia because it does not fit the description to begin with. The name is merely a nickname, nothing more, nothing less. And it is true that there is a presence of firearms, but to say that it has a “military character” would be a heavy exaggeration. And while it may not be officially operated by the Federal Government, I am still our nation’s Prime Minister, so in a way, it is operated by the government.
Then as for the charges the Plaintiff has come up with, they are completely and utterly outrageous. It is true that I am the elected Prime Minister of Lovia, as Mr. Galahad says. I am not, however, our national leader, rather I am the mere representative of our government and nation, the formal head of our Government, in which I take great pride and a task which I cherish. I do not, however, agree with him that I have been irresponsible in any way whatsoever. Is it irresponsible to seek to protect yourself and those around you, and is it irresponsible to do so in the only way possible, and in doing so allowing our Federal Police to focus on matters of national security and the common good, as they are ought to do? Irresponsible politics, when, Mr. Galahad, when? I can’t think of any example of this, none. And then the worst accusation of all: that I am a possible threat to our national security! These claims deeply upset me and insult my personal integrity, to which I am highly attached. Never have I done anyone any harm, to the contrary: all I did was done in order to prevent any possible harm from happening. Instead of endangering lives, I did all that was in my power to protect lives.
I cannot accept any of the accusations and demands made by the Plaintiff in this case. To lose my citizen rights would be a horrible shame and to see my friends be restrained from entering my household, too, would be to much to ask from me. What is demanded by Mr. Galahad is not in any way in proportion to the mistakes I may have made.
I have the reputation of being a stubborn and stern man. Whether or not this is the case is not the question here, luckily. Never, however, have I ever heard anyone call me unreasonable. I understand the problems certain individuals have come up with, and I understand their concerns and I have taken them into account. Most of them, I cannot identify with. I still have every reason to believe that the lives of myself and those close to me are in danger. If, however, the Court can provide a solution to my problem, alternative means of protection, I would consider closing down the Brigade and do so at once. If both myself and those around me can be, and will be, protected properly in some other way, then I will immediately disband the Brigade and hand in all the guns and ammunition.
With this solemn promise, I would like to end my statement. The Brigade was created to offer protection, not to cause harm. If – and only if – an alternative means of protection can be found, the existence of the Brigade will no longer be a necessity. Granted that this alternative would be fully legal and not controversial. I rest my case, Your Honor, I have said all I wished to say. I sincerely hope a solution can be found that is acceptable for all parties involved, so that this unfortunate episode can be put behind us.16:43, March 15, 2011 (UTC)
Judge: The Court has heard your final plea and will consider all things heard and seen in the following days. Within a week's time, the judgement will be pronounced by the Court, accompanied by a full explanation of it. 17:30, March 15, 2011 (UTC)
Judging the case
Judge: The Supreme Court has reached a final conclusion. 14:54, March 16, 2011 (UTC)
Judge: The Supreme Court of Lovia has heard Mr Galahad, a citizen of this nation who has charged the defendants with certain violations of the Firearms Act of February 1st, 2011, of the Federal Law. The Supreme Court has heard the defendants, represented by Mr Abrahams and Mr Villanova, and by Mr Donia, one of the accused himself. There have been no irregularities in this trial. In essence, the charges were clear and corresponded in a direct relation to one article of the law, designed by Congress to tackle issues as were brought forward in this trial.
The plaintiff, Mr Galahad, charged Mr Donia, Latin, Steiner and twenty-one other Lovians with the violation of the Firearms Act, more specifically:
- illegal gun ownership by all members of the Brigade, as prohibited by Section 1 of the Firearms Act (Ownership and use of firearms by any person within the Kingdom of Lovia is prohibited); and not conform the exceptions speficied by the law;
- the organization of a private militia, as prohibited by Section 3 of the Firearms Act (The organization of a private militia is prohibited within the Kingdom of Lovia);
The plaintiff also charged the defendants with gun ownership with military intent. The Court dismisses this charge. Section 18.104.22.168 of the Firearms Act limits the right to be granted a hunting license to those “who have the intent to use it only for hunting, be it recreational or professional.” Mr Galahad’s charge would have been a proper one if and only if the defendants were legal and authorized hunters with licenses, who abused them for any illegitimate purpose, such as a military purpose. Mr Galahad clearly claimed that the defendants did not meet the requirements of legal and licensed hunters. Therefore, this charge is dismissed by the Court.
The verdict. The Supreme Court of Lovia has ruled, on Wednesday March 16th of the year 2011, that the defendants are guilty of the above-mentioned charges, that is, illegal gun ownership and the organization of a private militia.
All members of the Brigade carried guns on February 7th, 2011, “although any other day from the approval of the bill until today would have been possible”, as Mr Galahad said. The Federal Law reads: “Ownership and use of firearms by any person within the Kingdom of Lovia is prohibited.” None of the Brigadiers bore the firearms in their duty as a police officer (1.1) nor as licensed hunters (1.2). The defendants were unable to produce hunting licenses. The burden of proof, nevertheless, was totally theirs. The inability to report one’s license is a grave mistake.
The Brigade is, by legal definition, a private militia. The Federal Law reads: “A private militia is any organization, either formally and nominally military or not, that is characterized by the presence of firearms, and that is not operated by the federal government of Lovia to ensure the nation's safety.” The Brigade, founded by Mr Donia as a “private army”, is:
- an organization, since it is structured (there is a hierarchy), since it bears a consistently used name; any claim to refute this is futile;
- military in name, appearance and true character;
- characterized by the presence of firearms, as has never been denied;
- not operated by the federal government to ensure the nation’s safety, but rather operated by a private citizen in his own name to ensure his own safety.
Since the law provides us with a clear definition of a private militia, the Court deems it logical that this is the definition the Court should be taking into account when judging this case. Any other definition has not been approved by Congress, whereas this has.
The Supreme Court has therefore ruled that (1) all members of the Brigade carried firearms within an illegitimate context; and that (2) the Brigade is a private militia, prohibited by the Federal Law.
The Court has a number of remarks or elaborations concerning some of the arguments in this trial.
First of all, the Court agrees with the plaintiff that Mr Donia, one of the defendants, has a public function in Lovia, and therefore public responsibility. As stipulated by Article 1A of the Constitution, Lovia is a representative democracy based on democratic traditions, in which the sovereignity resides in the people. The government of this country is their government and only exists by their virtue. Each breach of contract, each violation of the law, by their representatives, is a violation of the core values of democracy. In publicly - and without remorse – defying the Federal Law, Lovia’s Prime Minister Mr Donia, has abandoned his responsibility as safekeeper of Lovia’s supreme laws. Mr Donia was the founder and leader of the Brigade, and has not undertaken any effort at legalizing his Brigade at a time when it was certain the Firearms Act was going to go in effect. He had full rule over the organization and the Court therefore considers him the foremost wrongdoer in this case. Mr Donia had all the power to cease the Brigade’s operations, at any time, and with the required knowledge. Furthermore, Mr Donia’s argument that the Brigade, run by himself as a private citizen, since not authorized by the government of Lovia, is a “in a way, it is operated by the government”, is profoundly rejected by the Court. This again proves the defendant’s lack of understanding of the principles of government. The people of Lovia have elected Mr Donia to the office of Prime Minister, not his appartment to the state capitol or his book shelf to the national library.
Secondly, the Court dismisses Mr Donia’s argument that he had to protect himself through the Brigade. If Mr Donia had considerable reasons to feel threatened by certain elements in society, which the Court does not deny, then Mr Donia should have talked to the Federal Police, over which he had government (!). In not doing so, Mr Donia failed to understand the mechanisms of this democratic state.
Thirdly, the Court would like to comment on the ‘burden of proof’ argument. Mr Galahad has accused the defendants for illegal gun ownership (which has been attested). Mr Donia has then defended himself with the claim of license ownership (which he has not been able to attest). The burden of proof (to show the license) is totally the defendants’. The inability to not report the license, as the Court has pointed out earlier, is a grave mistake.
Considering all this, we return to the full judgment.
The Court has ruled the defendants guilty of the two above-mentioned charges. The Supreme Court will pronounce the sentences.
- Mr Donia
- The Court sentences Mr Donia to a period of incarceration in a federal facility on Lovian soil, according to provisions of the law and within humane conditions, of six months, unconditionally.
- The Court sentences Mr Donia so as to lose his citizen rights in Lovia.
- All other members, including but not limited to Mr Steiner and Mr Latin
- The Court sentences all members of the Brigade, not including Mr Y. Donia, to a period of incarceration in a federal facility on Lovian soil, according to provisions of the law and within humane conditions, of two weeks, unconditionally.
- All members, including Mr Donia
- The Court disarms all members forthwith.
- The Court sets up a perimeter of five miles around the Donia Castle during the period of one year, beginning today and therefore ending March 16th, 2012. None of the accused may enter the perimeter during that period. Any violation of this restraining order shall be met with a fit financial punishment of 2,500 USD, and with periodical incarceration in the case of continued violation.
- The Court dissolves the Brigade permanently.
No therapy, community service or financial sentences – as requested by the plaintiff, shall be pronounced.
As a result of this sentence, none of the accused can be granted a hunting license for the next two years (Firearms Act, Section 22.214.171.124).
The Court appreciates the public relevance of this judgment and grants Mr Donia the right to settle a number of public issues, such as the continuity or dissolvement of his government, for the next 24 hours.
Proceedings concluded. 15:21, March 16, 2011 (UTC)