Above: Caldari Navy station construction, Onnamon
Shipcaster Spying Row Intensifies with Recriminations Over CONCORD/EDENCOM Taskforce
Yulai, Genesis – Recriminations over the Shipcaster spying scandal involving a CONCORD/EDENCOM taskforce erupted into an open row between the "Big 4" empires in a public session of the CONCORD Assembly, today in Yulai. In particular, the Minmatar Republic accused Amarr personnel seconded to EDENCOM duties of acting as "agents for the Amarr Empire's intelligence-gathering and technology-acquisition efforts", provoking a furious response from the Empire.
Minmatar Ambassador Keitan Yun presented evidence in support of the Republic's claim that the taskforce – including members of CONCORD's AG12 Office and EDENCOM's Stellar Monitoring Directorate – "extensively made use of Amarr military officials seconded to EDENCOM, and stationed in multiple CONCORD member states, supporting them as clandestine sources in its efforts, heedless of the fact that this effectively allowed these individuals to also act as agents for the Amarr Empire's intelligence-gathering and technology-acquisition efforts."
Ambassador Yun further pointed out the prevalence of Amarr military officers in EDENCOM forces across the Caldari State, alleging that: "Once again we see EDENCOM is a vehicle for Amarr infiltration efforts, and now in conjunction with a CONCORD directorate, reminding many of us in the Republic of how CONCORD itself was once used in this manner. In the past, this required severe emergency measures that were regrettable but sadly necessitated by the actions of the Empire. We resist being driven to such measures again, and there is no reason the Caldari State should be forced into such measures by Amarr duplicity."
Royal Heir Hamideh Kador responded with barely-contained fury to the accusations against the Amarr Empire declaring: "The Holy Amarr Empire entirely repudiates these baseless claims and regrets that the Shakorite regime is once more bent on sowing dissension between the peoples of New Eden for entirely self-serving reasons. The terror regime's mouthpiece, Yun, is well-known as a peddler of conspiracy theories dredged from the feeds of the most psychotic and demented capsuleers. Even still, this latest tissue of fabrication, lies and slander represents the nadir of his career as a 'diplomat'. In reality, Yun is nothing more than an assassin posing as the 'shepherd' of a pack of wolves in sheep's clothing."
Above: EDENCOM Stellar Monitoring, Yulai
Scenes of Chaos at CONCORD Assembly Over Spying Row
Yulai, Genesis – Following Ambassador Keitan Yun's allegations against EDENCOM, CONCORD, and the Amarr Empire, and the combative response from Royal Heir Hamideh Kador, the CONCORD Assembly's public session devolved into scenes of shouting, booing, and confrontation on the floor of the chamber. The Caldari and Gallente delegations were caught up in the chaos as assembly members from the two empires sought to separate the Amarr and Minmatar assembly groups.
Ambassador Devan Malate of the Gallente Federation addressed reporters after the session was prematurely closed, saying, "I deplore the scenes we have just witnessed as counter to all principles of rational diplomacy and discourse between member states of the Assembly. The accusations and counter-accusations made today are serious and must be investigated but it is plain that a neutral party, such as the Federation, is best placed to thoroughly determine the facts and the dispositions of certain technologies. We intend to press that point in future discussions."
Ishukone CEO Mens Reppola – attending the CONCORD Assembly as the rotating delegate from the Caldari State's Chief Executive Panel – poured scorn on Ambassador Malate's suggestion, responding, "The Federation's motives in this matter are not obscure given their critical failures in analysing and adapting Triglavian strategic technologies." Pressed for comment on the Republic's charge of Amarr espionage against the Caldari State through EDENCOM and CONCORD, CEO Reppola would only say, "Naturally we take such claims seriously, given the gravity of what is alleged, but we must see to our own investigations and arrive at our own conclusions without the biases of third-parties intruding."
Above: Imperial Research Facility, Mehatoor
Construction Efforts in Key "Big 4" Empire Systems Continue
Onnamon, Black Rise – Significant new construction efforts have been reported in the Caldari system of Onnamon, recently designated as the headquarters of State military and naval efforts in the Caldari-Gallente militia warzone. Amidst the EDENCOM/CONCORD spying scandal, observers have speculated that Caldari State research efforts on the so-called "Shipcaster" technology are proceeding apace and may include construction of a prototype device.
The Caldari construction efforts follow increasing fortification of the Intaki system by Gallente Federation military and sercurity services. The Federation registered an increase of security status in the Intaki system from CONCORD rating 0.3 to 0.4 earlier this week.
While the Federation and State increase their military footprints and further fortify at the edges of the militia warzone, the Amarr Empire and Minmatar Republic have not been idle. The Minmatar Republic has considerably advanced construction of a new Fleet station in its Unified Territorial Liberation Command headquarters of Amo system in Metropolis. The Republic efforts are matching pace with Amarr Empire operations developing the Mehatoor system in Devoid region into a headquarters for the Empire's Combined Fleet Group Damius.
Increasing fortification and militarization efforts at the border regions of the core empires and the militia warzones have accompanied steadily deteriorating diplomatic relations since the Serthoulde Campaign and Turnur Incident. This crisis in interstellar diplomacy, which many observers believe is the outcome of many years of breaches of the Yulai Accords and CONCORD Emergency Militia War Powers Act by all empires, has flared up yet again with the Shipcaster spying scandal. The longterm roles and composition of EDENCOM, and even CONCORD, are now being openly questioned by diplomats, politicians, and elites in the core empires.