In Regard to Recent Events A Response Issued by His Majesty, Koeng Josef
Greetings denizens of Haense,
These past few months have been tumultuous for all us Haeseni, indeed. My hope in penning this letter to the public is to help clear up my stance on these issues, and what is being done about them.
First and foremost, I understand the grievances that have been expressed, and after looking into the issues and investigating them more closely, I have come to share my findings with you; my people.
On Krawn z. van Gelderhode
This is a trial I find to be most disturbing. Upon first reading the missive penned by Oskar Wick, I was angered and admittedly indignant to his claims. Personally I had not attended the trial, but had full faith in our court system to carry out their duties efficiently and properly.
Initially after looking into the issue in Reza, I gathered that the punishment prescribed by the Aulic Court wass removal of an arm for the severe offense of banditry. This I found to be acceptable, and is a legal punishment as written in the Haurul Caezk.
For me it was not the ordered punishment that was disturbing, but the fashion it was carried out. I was told by multiple accounts that the convict’s arm was removed in one go, and later chopped to make it easier to burn. But this was not the case. As I have now found, the arm was chopped twice — once in the forearm, and then at the shoulder. This caused unnecessary added pain to the convict, denoting borderline torture. In the Haurul Caezk, torture is a punishment bound only to treasonous offenses, not severe offenses as occurred here.
But it gets worse. Then I came to find that the trial itself was invalid, something that seemed to have been conveniently withheld when I was searching for information. There was no legitimate prosecution in this case, nay, the Deputy Palatine had no right to step in and take on the duties of one.
This trial was a complete mockery of our legal system!
Do not misunderstand, the convict was certainly guilty of the crimes he was accused of, but the trial and punishment were both equally mismanaged.
Today I vow to you — the Haeseni people — that such a botched trial shall not occur again in my domain. Both the Lord Justiciar and myself were understandably outraged when we unearthed these details. In response, Deputy Palatine Osvald Barclay has been removed from his position.
On Krawn z. Boniface
In regard to the Crown v. Boniface, I stand by the Aulic Government’s ruling and the execution of the heretical Boniface. The Pontiff and I both attended the trial, at least in part, and I still believe it to have been fair and properly conducted as outlined in the Haurul Caezk.
Boniface was given the chance to recant his openly heretical views after his conviction — an opportunity requested by the Pontiff himself — in return for a commuted or acquitted sentence. This was his chance at appeal. Instead he doubled down on his heretical belief, and denounced the Pontiff and the Crown. There was no possible route for appeal left, when he perpetrated his crime in front of the Crown, Church, and Court.
On the Roughness of the HRA
This is a matter I take most seriously. Whereas I believe the slander and insults thrown at Lord Marshal Barclay are unwarranted, inflammatory and unproductive, I decided to look into it regardless.
Again I will admit I initially was offended by the claims being made against the HRA, and I still sustain that the majority of our soldiers are good, loyal and peace-loving men and women. However, after witnessing the way Lord Hektor Stafyr was taken into custody — being physically assaulted during his arrest despite showing no signs of resisting — shocked me. On top of that was the botched severance of the convicts arm as previously discussed.
In response to these issues, involved soldiers have been dealt repercussions — including lashings, suspension, and demotions — and a new Etiquette Course of training is being introduced to the HRA to properly ensure the presence of civility and reason into all our soldiers.
On the Perceived Crime of Thought
Finally, a new term has been developing with increasing popularity throughout the streets of New Reza, of course being “Thought Crime”. I assure you, there is nothing illegal about independent thought in Haense.
As has always been true in Haense, all men and women are free to their own train of thought and beliefs. But as any society holds true, there are limits on what can be said or done to ensure safety remains paramount.
Calling for the harm or killing of any subject of the Kingdom has always, and will always remain wholly illegal. Calling for disorder and chaos has always, and will always remain wholly illegal. And finally, defamation and sedition have always, and will always remain wholly illegal.
These laws exist for the safety of all subjects of the crown, whether they be man, woman, human, elf, commoner, or noble. Whoever it may be, these laws intend and succeed at creating a safe environment for all Haeseni to enjoy and partake in.
I hope that this missive brings some comfort to those most outraged by these recent events, and know that I too share in your feelings. I am willing to sit down and meet with any Haeseni subject who wishes to speak on these issues further, or who has more information to present.
Krusae Zwy Kongzem
Signed, Koeng Josef of Haense