Talossa was rocked over the past few weeks by allegations by former Uppermost Cort Justice and current Chairman of the Talossan Workers Party T.M. Asmourescu of impropriety in the RUMP ranks, casting a shadow of doubt over the behavior of prominent RUMPer Ma la Mha, the Count Thord and Baron Hooligan. Asmourescu, a former member of the RUMP, released the unredacted transcripts from years of private party discussions and personal conversations, in the wake of his loss in the courtroom as representative for Viteu Marcianüs.

Asmourescu began releasing documents with the press release that announced his client's decision not to appeal and his own unhappiness with the loss, beginning with the correspondence between Marcianüs and the counsel for the defense and former Minister of Stuff Sir Alexandreu Davinescu (also the author of this article). While this correspondence was already public, as evidence during the trial, it was soon followed by a series of other private conversations, intended to damage the participants. Attorney-General Magniloqueu Épiqeu da Lhiun immediately commented on the leaks, expressing his sympathy with Asmourescu and his cause, but stating that he could only "condemn fiercely, that you made public such an exchange, which is full of private e-mail-addresses and names of parties not involved in this conflict." Other prominent figures also expressed displeasure, with Minister of Immigration Ián B. Anglatzarâ vowing that he would simply refuse to read anything released under such terms. Others members of the public, however, found the enlightening. Liberal Congress leader C. Carlüs Xheraltescù suggested that the material was disquieting, while Distain Dame Miestrâ Schivâ, ZRT leader and part of the governing coalition, found many grounds for complaint.

The leaked conversations, which included both internal RUMP discussions and private conversations between friends, mostly came from the period after the RUMP's loss in the last election. They include sections of conversations about whether or not the RUMP had a future, and who to blame. In some stretches of the many pages of discussion, RUMP members said unkind things about prominent political figures. As an example, when the ESB Affair's multiple counts of fraud were uncovered, but before the perpetrator was identified, one RUMPer told Asmourescu in a private chat that he "hoped it was [Dame] Miestra."

Due to the circumstances of the leaks, the initial reaction failed to yield the scandal for which Asmourescu hoped. Mormoglhen stated that they "believe[d] that the leaks are not particularly useful to the public, and that they reflect a deep personal vendetta held by Asmourescu against the RUMP and its members," while the only other member of the Talossan Workers Party, Marti-Pair Furxheir - also a former RUMPer - was furious that his trust had been broken and his English name publicized so widely. Furxheir immediately left the party and founded his own Patriotic Coalition, leaving Asmourescu apparently frustrated at his effect.

In response, Asmourescu issued what he called "the final leak," a series of conversations that suggested that Asmourescu had helped to investigate the ESB Affair but hidden his own involvement, in order to allow himself to also serve as a judge in any ensuing prosecution. Ma la Mha was shown apparently encouraging this criminal behavior, casting doubt on a figure who had previously been universally respected. Many were shocked by the revelations, and some suggested that they went even further, with Dame Miestrâ of the ZRT suggesting that the scandal may reach all corners of the nation, and with officials of the governing coalition reportedly rushing to try to bring the case to court. Asmourescu said in his statement that he believed that this was "business as usual" for his former party, and repeatedly condemned the RUMP in the strongest terms. He also endorsed allegations by ESB that he had been "coerced" into renouncing his citizenship by His Majesty the King, although this was not evident from any of his leaked conversations (which were circulated privately, after a copyright complaint led to their removal from Wittenberg).

In response to the allegations, Ma la Mha stated that the events had indeed transpired as Asmourescu said, but that he had always expected that Asmourescu would recuse himself if necessary. He admitted that the leaked private discussions "make me look sneaky and expose me as hiding truths from my King and friend," but argued that his behavior had been designed only to protect Asmourescu's requested role of "anonymous tipster." He argued that "I never advised Tim to sit the case if he felt he could not judge it impartially, only that he should determine upon his impartiality when the case came to trial and he saw the evidentiary sources that might be presented by the Crown, and not before."

This final leak proved to be much more damaging, and succeeded in completing the destruction of the Talossan Workers Party, whose founder and sole member admitted that he knew he'd ended his political future during his campaign, but also cast a serious cloud of doubt on one of the most prominent Talossan citizens of recent years. Dame Miestrâ remained the most outspoken voice of criticism, saying that the leaks revealed that the RUMP was "a hive of prejudice, an 'old boy's club,' and a haven for skulduggery." Even Beric'ht came under fire in her eyes, for failing to report on the late-breaking story in our previous issue; editor and RUMP party leader Sir Alexandreu Davinescu was a "smear-monger" who wanted to cover up the scandal, she stated.

It remains to be seen what the fall-out of the Asmourescu Papers will be, beyond the damage to the reputations of Ma la Mha and T.M. Asmourescu himself. Since charges are pending, the nation will certainly have opportunity to revisit the issue once they are filed. Any shadow that may have lain on the justice system seems to have been dispersed by the fair and open trial of ESB himself, which not even the defendant had cause to complain about. Perhaps, in the end, the greatest damage was to the nation's trust: if private conversations between two friends could be publicized years later in service to a cause, then Talossans must choose their words very carefully indeed.


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