At roughly 0200 this morning, CAPT Svetlana Scarlet, Reserve Chief of Diplomatic Staff, released a preliminary statement regarding the incident Saturday where a freighter belonging to the Brothers of Freedom corporation was destroyed. The following is the full transcript of that statement, provided via hololink from her current position at the front lines of Operation Cascade Fire.
"Good morning. Yesterday, a freighter belonging to the Brothers of Freedom corporation was destroyed on approach to the CEP Bureau station in orbit around New Caldari. At this time, I can confirm that Reserve vessels did indeed participate in the interception of that vessel, though only after being informed that the freighter posed an imminent threat to the station itself. As of this time, Reserve Command has been unable to confirm or deny that information, however officers at the scene believed the threat to be likely enough to require immediate action in order to neutralize it.
"However, in light of the seriousness of the incident and the ambiguity as to the exact sequence of events that resulted in the destruction of the freighter, the Reserve has decided that it is necessary to convene a Board of Inquiry to look into this incident in order to determine the facts of the case, and whether or not the actions of the officers involved were justified. This board will investigate the matter and produce its results within one week, as well as any necessary disciplinary actions. I must stress that we are treating this matter with the gravity it requires -- the destruction of a civilian vessel by Reserve officers is not something to be taken lightly, especially one of this magnitude.
"In order to ensure that all the facts of the matter come out, we would also like to ask the Tribunal to conduct their own investigation into the incident. We would also ask them to investigate the other two parties involved -- the Guardian Shadows corporation, who began the attack on the freighter, and the Brothers of Freedom corporation to whom the freighter belonged. We also suggest an investigation as to why there were no Caldari Navy or Customs vessels in the immediate area to conduct a proper interdiction of this freighter. If they had been there to do so, a great loss of life may have been avoided."