Xiomera releases Broussard

The Xiomeran Justice Ministry announced today that DTNS journalist Antoine Broussard has been pardoned for his alleged crimes in that country, and has been placed on a flight to Laeral.

“In her infinite mercy, Empress Calhualyana has agreed to pardon the journalist Antoine Broussard and allow him to return home,” Xiomeran Justice Minister Cuicanan said today in a statement released to the media. The statement added that the pardon was given on the condition that Broussard never returns to Xiomera. Attorneys representing Broussard for DTNS said in their own statement that condition “is one that Antoine has no problem honoring, as no sane person would return to Xiomera after being released from prison there.”

Broussard has been in Xiomeran custody since April 7th, and had not been allowed to contact anyone during that time. He was facing multiple charges, including violating sections of the Xiomeran Penal Code relating to media conduct in the country. He had also been facing espionage charges, which had alarmed the international community. Being found guilty of espionage in Xiomera carries severe penalties, including possible execution.

Xiomeran opposition leader still faces trial

In a different announcement, the Justice Ministry said that opposition leader Cozamalotl will go on trial beginning August 16th. The leader and co-founder of the Unification Party is facing multiple charges as well, including treason, insurrection and conspiracy charges. “We have more than enough evidence to prove that Cozamalotl, after being defeated in our January elections, conspired to engage in insurrection to overturn the will of the Xiomeran people and gain power for himself,” the Justice Minister said. Cozamalotl has likewise not been allowed to speak with anyone since his arrest on February 20th. His court-appointed attorneys have indicated that the opposition leader plans to plead guilty to all charges, a shock to his followers. “There is no way Cozamalotl would ever plead guilty to this scandal sheet of lies. He is being coerced by the Imperial regime,” Cuetzhual, the current leader of the Unification Party since Cozamalotl’s arrest, told DTNS.

Conflicting Xiomeran stances spark confusion

The conflicting decisions by the Xiomeran regime – to grant one high-profile political prisoner a pardon while pushing forward with a trial for another one – have sparked confusion about the unpredictable Caxcana nation’s intentions. “It is entirely possible that pardoning Broussard is meant to curry favor with Laeral, to encourage their leaders to stay out of the unfolding mess in Auria. It’s also possible that the Xiomeran regime was content to just use Antoine to send a message to international journalists about working in Xiomera, and they feel that the message has been delivered,” Ellenor Myers, analyst for international affairs with DTNS, said. “Cozamalotl, by contrast, is being used to send a different message – that the regime is in control, that opposition will not be tolerated, and that resisting the regime will end badly for those who try it.”

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