Secundomia v. Ibrahim
This article contains profanity or other material which may be considered offensive.
|Secundomia v. Ibrahim|
|Court||Secundomian Supreme Court|
|Full case name||The Republic of Secundomia v. Ibrahim I|
|Argued||18 Apr 2010|
|Decided||20 Apr 2010|
|Verdict||No verdict reached (Mistrial)|
|Charge||Swearing and harassment on Secundomian message boards|
|Legislation cited||Secundomian Constitution (Harassment Clause)|
|Judge(s) sitting||Parker I|
This article is part of the series:
Secundomia v. Ibrahim (officially The Republic of Secundomia v. Ibrahim I, also known as the Trial of Ibrahim I) was a landmark court case in the Republic of Secundomia. The case tested the controversial Harassment Clause of the Secundomian Constitution, its scope and the facts of Ibrahim I's conduct on Secundomia's email server. Ibrahim I was alleged of swearing and harassing Parker I, then president and sitting justice of the court. The trial took place amidst the backdrop of the Cabinet Crisis and became a focal point for rising protests throughout the micronation. After a breakdown in courtroom order, a mistrial was declared.
Political tensions had been rising in Secundomia in April 2010 after President Parker I released his picks for Cabinet. Leaving most Secundomians without a job, a group of protestors began demanding a change and calling into question the legitimacy of Parker's leadership. After threats of litigation against Rahim I and Luke of Secundomia proved to be hollow, Parker relented and assigned each citizen a job. Ibrahim I, a core leader of the Rahimist-Ibrahimist protest was still displeased with his new position as Director of Event Planning.
The Harassment Clause was a controversial section in the Secundomian Constitution. It qualified the Republic's legal commitment to free speech which was allowed in all instances other than official Secundomian discussions. The clause read as follows: "But on official documents, and discussions concerning Secundomia, please refrain from swearing or any forms of harrasing (sic) members of Secundomia." This clause was challenged by Luke of Secundomia during the 2009 Secundomian elections, but was considered by co-consuls Parker I and Spencer I to be necessary to ensure the cohesiveness of the nation and attract membership.
Alleged Crime and Indictment
After his job was revealed, Ibrahim quickly responded to Parker's announcement saying "wtf parker you b**** you gave a me a freakin (sic) job i dont (sic) like it." As would become notable in the trial the censoring of the word was in the original email. Even critics of Parker and the Harassment Clause like Luke found this statement to be beyond the bounds of the thread. Parker announced Ibrahim's indictment and set the date for a trial on 18 April 2010.
On 18 April, Parker created a new thread sent out to all Secundomians with an announcement of the trial. He first announced the charge including a quote of Ibrahim's email and an excerpt from the Harassment Clause of the Secundomian Constitution. He announced a public jury including Rahim I, Luke of Secundomia and Spencer I. Parker also announced he would serve as a judge but would only have procedural control and no ability to vote in the the outcome of the case while also serving as the prosecuting attorney. He also announced potential sentencing requirements.
Nate I, a trial attorney for the Rahimist-Ibrahimist Group announced that he would represent Ibrahim. The acquisition of Nate I was a significant coup for the defense as Ibrahim was slated to represent himself. Nate was well known in the country as a neutral and agreeable figure and had recently become famous for designing the Secundomian flag and the Secundomian Power Monument.
The Prosecution began first with the State's opening statement. The state aimed to sequester the case to purely factual grounds. The argument was two pronged - first that Ibrahim had sworn, violating the first section of the harassment clause. The state cited here as evidence that Ibrahim said "wtf" and "b****." The state further contested that the intentional censoring and abbreviation of these phrases was irrelevant because their meaning was apparent. The second prong of the argument stemmed from the first, arguing that calling anyone a "b****" was harassment.
Initially the defense issued an opening statement by Ibrahim, but this preceded Nate's declaration that he would represent Ibrahim. Ibrahim's initial statement which was stricken from the record did not contest the facts of the case or the justness of the law. Rather, Ibrahim contested that Secundomia wasn't "real" and that his job "sucked." He argued that his correctness should excuse his temper and further that he didn't mean the words he sent via email. He also threatened to quit the nation. Nate cleaned up the statement and released an official one, clarifying that anger was not sufficient and arguing that Ibrahim should be instead awarded a job choice as compensation for discrimination.
After Opening Statements, the trial progressed in unconventional form to the "Opening Rebuttals" stage. The state continued their argument, claiming that anger was no excuse and drawing parallels to the legal system of the United States. Nate proceeded on extremely unconventional grounds, arguing that the prosperity of the nation was more important than the letter of the law. Rather than arguing facts, he argued that Ibrahim would be happier with a better job. Happy workers, he reasoned, would make efficient and quality work, following from that an active nation.
After the opening rebuttals, the trial devolved somewhat out of order. Rahim proclaimed from the jury box that he was siding fully with Ibrahim and that the trial was useless. Arguments over procedure devolved to Ibrahim calling Parker a "jerk." This was cited by the president as another potential violation of the harassment clause. Around this point in the trial, Seth I, angry at the inundation of emails to his inbox announced the secession of his state of Leospecsia. Citing his view that the trial was a mess and unnecessary, jury member Luke announced he would be abstaining regardless of the facts of the case.
End of Trial
Acting in his capacity as judge, Parker suspended the trial seeing that no verdict would be possible to reach. The trial was declared a mistrial and Parker issued an apology to Ibrahim. However, the conflict did not stop as the Cabinet Crisis escalated internationally. Erised of Atlan joined the email thread and threatened conflict against the protest group. As issues became much larger than the trial, the email thread devolved into spam and insults.
The failure of the trial to reach a verdict was a significant failure in the Secundomian justice system. The judge was unable to keep order in the courtroom and civilians lost trust in the system. Continued unrest broke out in the country and neighboring Atlan. Rahimist-Ibrahimist protestors continued their tactics of spam and trolling on the email chain without apparent remorse.
Seeing that legal solutions had failed, a group of Secundomian citizens including the President, the Empress of Atlan, Luke of Secundomia and Spencer I decided to take extra-legal action. The group officially exiled Rahim from Secundomia and issued a warning to Ibrahim. Where the trial had failed, this action succeeded and cooled the tensions of the crisis. Rahim and Ibrahim would both apologize for their actions. While Rahim would never return to Secundomia, Ibrahim became a legitimate political leader in the country, coming within one vote on recount of winning the Presidency.