ILINSHEN (UNITED VIRIDIAN STATES) – Debate continues today in the capital district of the United Viridian States over the troubled extradition of orbital real estate mogul Uskert Lannod. Lannod, 70, made history four months ago by receiving the highest fine thus far assessed for an offworlder in the Empire’s Courts of Common Pleas and Small Claims, some 22.7 million exval.
The extradition in question relates to the non-payment of this fine, incurred due to an incident in which Lannod, while in an inebriated condition after conducting a business meeting in a restaurant on Mahalloris (Principalities), advanced several improper suggestions to the waitress, and later went so far as to briefly lay hands upon her person.
At question here is the magnitude of the imposed fine. Lannod has appealed to the government of the UVS, claiming it to be entirely disproportionate to the offense, and therefore cruel and unusual. While the government appears to be refusing extradition for now, representatives were not available for interview by this publication.
Ambassador Rithan-ishi-Dellia of the Empire, meanwhile, issued a formal statement that it was the Curial courts’ normal practice to scale punitive fines in accordance with a formula based on the net worth and income of the convicted, in order that the aversive effect of the fines would remain constant, and therefore such that wealthy individuals would not come to see what would be, from their perspective, relatively minor fines as merely a cost of doing business. As such, she deemed, it could hardly be considered an unusual practice, even if the rarity of multi-billionaires finding themselves before the Curial courts under such circumstances made it an unusual implementation of the practice.
The Ambassador went on to state that the Empire’s position on the fine did not admit of flexibility, as a matter of principle, and that should extradition be denied the Office of Investigation and Pursuit would seek to recover the fine and costs – adding wryly that if Lannod were fully cognizant of the Curial courts’ practice of recovering costs from the convicted, he surely would not be going to such pains to increase the difficulty of collecting them – through alternative means. She declined to state, however, what those alternative means might be.
Upon being questioned on the topic of certain ungentlesophly rumors alleging that the case had no merit, and was effectively manufactured by the plaintiff for the purpose of profit, the Ambassador offered to personally debate the issue with anyone with assertions to make along those lines – provided that such debate take place within the embassy grounds.