Yulai – Representatives of the four empires have just emerged from the CONCORD Assembly chambers after a marathon session in which the recently leaked Inner Circle report was discussed. In this meeting the Inner Circle, bowing to political pressure from all quarters, has officially confirmed the authenticity of the original document that was leaked to the press.
As reported previously, the document contained details of an investigation by CONCORD into the "unauthorized gate activation incident" that took place over a year ago, and at the time of the leak it was not clear if the Inner Circle or the empire representatives of the Assembly had sanctioned any of these activities. Particularly controversial were the segments of the document referring to a manned expedition into the Infested Regions that was ordered to monitor the state of the rogue drone threat contained therein, and to track down the possible source of the illicit gate activations.
Tensions were high in today's meeting as it was finally confirmed that no approval for the expedition detailed in the report was given to CONCORD by the representatives of the four empires. The governments of all four empires also used the Assembly session as an opportunity to express their outrage over the fact that the original information provided by CONCORD to the Assembly in over one year ago concerning the gate activations was clearly incomplete. As expressed by Lord Qumar in a previous statement, the sophisticated hacking technique used to force the gates open over one year ago was not disclosed to any of the empires in the debriefing they received in the wake of the gate activations.
Anger turned to alarm among Assembly representatives later during the debrief when the Inner Circle further revealed that their operatives had lost contact with the teams that were sent into the Infested Regions, and that they have since been unable to re-establish any form of communication with them. They revealed that the mission case files had already been closed, with all members of the secret expedition lost and assumed to have been killed in the line of duty.
The Inner Circle then bravely faced cross-examination by members of the Assembly. When asked by a Gallente Federation representative about the potential connection to these latest revelations surrounding the leaked report and the questionable retirement of CONCORD Commander Rhatal late last year, the Inner Circle admitted that Commander Rhatal was in fact a senior officer attached to the Code Aria Inquiry. It was further disclosed that Commander Rhatal was responsible for the ongoing monitoring of the jump gates that bordered the Infested Regions, and was on watch at the time of their sudden and forced activation. In the wake of the activation incident Rhatal was assigned to plan and execute the search effort in the newly opened regions. Almost three months after his team lost contact with the expedition, and were unsuccessful in regaining contact with them, he resigned his commission taking full responsibility for its outcome. When the matter was pressed further, it was then also revealed that Captain Bethol Jan Kozer, partner to Mera Vahlsina (the pilot who requested the Gallente Federation assist her search for information about her missing spouse), was the leader of one of the teams in the expedition, and that she is assumed to be lost along with the rest of her crew.
As today's session finally drew to a close, the Inner Circle were quick to retreat to private chambers before they could be accosted by the media. Representatives of all four of the empires remained however for comment, and freely expressed their astonishment and their anger at these latest revelations. The Amarr Empire delegation, headed by Lord Qumar, was particularly irate but refused to supply any official comments. Members of the Caldari State delegation were substantially looser with their tongues, as one representative was overheard stating that the whole situation was a “complete and shambling balls up.” The press has been assured that official statements will be issued by the governments of each of the four empires as soon as there has been time to reflect on the revelations provided in today's meeting.