Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the first session of the Presidential Commission on Crimes Against Humanity. You have all been selected to serve as Commissioners based upon your knowledge of Colonial criminal law (federal or planetary), philosophy, or the current logistical/security needs of the Colonial Fleet. Although our work is technically advisory, it will certainly weigh heavily in the coming debates. As your Chairman, the President has asked me to convey her personal thanks to you for your willingness to assist in resolving the difficult legal questions we now face.
The President has also requested that we consider, as the first item on our agenda, the upcoming trial of Doctor Gaius Baltar. Unless there is some suggestion, we’ll begin there. The questions we must resolve are as follows:
1.) What crime or crimes should Dr. Baltar be charged with? Warrantless detentions were employed during the first Roslin Administration, both by the President and military authorities. The same cannot be said of executions, but counsel for Dr. Baltar is likely to argue that this set a precedent that the President has had extraordinary emergency powers since the flight from the Colonies. Might Baltar’s “alliance” with the Cylons, while thoroughly abhorrent, have technically been within the limits of Presidential power established in the first Roslin administration?
2.) Should Dr. Baltar have access to all the evidence to be presented against him? Should his lawyer? Admiral Adama has expressed a concern that this could be a security risk. Not only has Baltar been accused of collaborating with the Cylons, but he has a demonstrated capacity to smuggle information out of his cell to the Colonial Fleet at large. However, our system of justice has traditionally allowed the defendant to hear the evidence against him. Where shall we draw the line?
3.) Who will be the trier of fact? Is this trial to be conducted before a jury, a judge, or a judicial tribunal?
4.) Should the testimony of Cylon witnesses be admissible?
5.) Will the trial be open to the public? Broadcast on the talk wireless?
I do not pretend, of course, that these are the only questions we will face in the days ahead, but I hope they will serve as a useful starting point. I now open the floor to discussion.