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Ombudsmen

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Ombuds Wellington

Ombudsmen - often shortened to ombuds (sing./pl.) - are Earth Alliance judges appointed by the higher courts and are responsible for the districts under their jurisdiction.

Above the Ombudsmen are appeals courts where lower courts decisions can be reviewed, after which is Final Appeal, which, in serious cases may be heard by the Senate Appeal Board.[1]

Babylon 5 had at least two Ombudsmen: Wellington and Zimmerman.[2] There was an unnamed female Ombuds - who presided over G'Kar's trial[3] - who may or may not have been Zimmerman. It is unclear if Babylon 5 continued to have an Ombudsmen after breaking away from the Earth Alliance.

Known CasesEdit

What follows are a list of known cases taken up by the ombuds on Babylon 5.

Flinn v. Vree defendantEdit

Presiding Ombuds: Wellington

The plaintiff, Flinn, claimed that his great-grandfather was abducted by aliens prior to mankind's encounter with the Centauri. The trauma was compounded by the fact that no one believed him. The plaintiff had acquired records from the Vree and was suing the defendant, citing that the defendant's great-grandfather abducted and experimented on the plaintiff's great-grandfather, demanding a century's of damages.[2]

Outcome: Unknown, as communication with the Vree was impossible without a translator

The People v. Thomas JordanEdit

Presiding Ombuds: Wellington

After numerous arrests for petty - not to mention, incompetent - theft, Thomas Jordan was to be deported from the station for a period of no less than five years, to be sent out on the first starliner, fare paid by the Ombuds Office. Wellington stated that Jordan's noted skill in zero-g construction meant he could get a well-paying job on any world within a jump of the station. Jordan pleaded that he could not leave the station, lest the "Babylon Curse" take effect and destroy the place. He demanded any other punishment available, only that he not be made to leave. After this display, Aldous Gajic spoke privately with the ombuds, and Wellington retracted his decision.[2]

Outcome: Thomas Jordan released into the remedial custody of Aldous Gajic, the most recent victim he attempted to rob but refused to press charges. After the death of Gajic, Jordan opted to take up his role and left the station to continue the late man's quest.

The People v. Desmond ModichenkoEdit

Presiding Ombuds: Wellington

After numerous charges of smuggling, assault, and racketeering, Desmond Modichenko - better known by his underworld nickname, "Deuce" - was brought to trial. However, the key witness, Mirriam Runningdear, suffered a mindwipe at the hand of a Na'ka'leen Feeder, leaving her unable to testify. With only the secondary circumstantial evidence, no further action could be taken against him.[2]

Outcome: Charges dismissed until the Office of Station Security could produce direct evidence of Modichenko's supposed illicit activities

Aldous Gajic died as a result of a shoot-out between station security and Deuce's men while trying to save Ombuds Wellington from the Feeder. It is assumed that the case was re-opened after these events.

Outcome: Unknown, but assumed that Deuce was tried and convicted for manslaughter in the death of Gajic

The People v. Karl MuellerEdit

Presiding Ombuds: Wellington

With substantial evidence regarding the murder of a security officer and two lurkers, Karl Mueller was found guilty of capital murder. There was circumspection by station security of past acts of murder committed by Mueller on other Earth outposts, but with no other evidence, this line of questioning was declared closed by the ombuds. Mueller was sentenced to death of personality, sentence to be carried out as soon as a telepath could be secured to perform the initial and terminal scans as well as the mindwipe machinery was checked out by Medlab personnel.[4]

Outcome: Mueller found guilty of capital murder, sentenced to mindwipe. However, before his sentence was carried out, he escaped custody and fled to Brown Sector where he took Laura Rosen and her daughter as hostages, ordering the former doctor to heal her with an alien healing device. When Dr. Stephen Franklin became involved and was taken as a third hostage, Rosen turned the machine on Mueller and drained his life-force, killing him.

The People v. Laura RosenEdit

Presiding Ombuds: Wellington

Laura Rosen had been operating an unlicensed clinic in Downbelow, using an alien healing device to heal her patients. She encountered Karl Mueller, who took the woman, her daughter, and Dr. Stephen Franklin as hostages and demanded she use the machine to heal a wound he suffered while fleeing from station security. In an effort to save her life and the lives of the other hostages, she turned the machine on Mueller and drained his life-force, killing him.[4]

Outcome: Rosen found not guilty of murder by reason of self-defense. She was released immediately on the condition that the alien device used in the act be turned over to Medlab personnel for proper study and protection.

The People v. Citizen G'KarEdit

Presiding Ombuds: Unnamed female

While under the influence of dust, Citizen G'Kar pursued and attacked Ambassador Londo Mollari and his attaché, Vir Cotto. After the effects of the drug wore off, G'Kar surrendered himself without incident to station security. At his hearing, Captain John Sheridan stated that he was unaware of his actions due to being under the influence of dust. The ombuds disagreed, stating that G'Kar avoided all other individuals between his quarters and the ambassador's, which points to premeditation. As the ambassador refused to press charges for unspecified reasons and neither victim received any lasting damage, his sentence was left up to the ombuds.[3]

Outcome: Citizen G'kar found guilty of misdemeanor assault and sentenced to 60 days in the station's prison facility. He was released prematurely during the Battle for B5 Independence.

ReferencesEdit

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