Treason was a term describing acts of betrayal of one's duty to one's sovereign or nation. Depending on the local definition, it might involve simply disloyalty in speech, or require disloyalty in an overt act. Increased responsibility, as belonging to the military, or holding office, increases the seriousness of the betrayal and so the degree of the treason. The Star Kingdom of Manticore had a most serious degree of the crime called high treason. (HH4)
A person who committed treason was known as a traitor.
Any treason by an officeholder was certainly punished by loss of office, and perhaps loss of title and / or privileges. In addition, many star nations of the Post Diaspora era punished it with long prison sentences under severe conditions or with death.
Because of the seriousness of the crime, and the severe sentences it earned, charges of treason were useful in some star nations as tools of political control and repression. An example was the People's Republic of Haven, especially the Committee of Public Safety regime. Each used the fearsome, and actually dismal, prison planet Hades (in the Cerebus System) as a place to punish prisoners whose crime (including treason) was insufficient to merit death.
Known cases of treason[edit | edit source]
- Barbara Bancroft was seen as a traitor (betrayal of secrets to the other side in the Grayson Civil War) on Masada, while being revered as a heroine on Grayson. (HH2)
- In "Queen's Gambit", several members of the House of Lords conspire to assassinate the Monarch of Manticore since they fear his anti-Haven military build-up. It is revealed that the Havenite government recruited and/or deceived the conspirators. They are allowed to retire from politics since a trial will result in political witch-hunts.
- Captain Lord Pavel Young stood accused of high treason in 1905 PD (Desertion in the face of the enemy during the First Battle of Hancock), but was found not guilty of that charge for political reasons. (HH4)
- Captain Alfredo Yu was charged with treason (desertion) by the People's Navy after the Second Battle of Yeltsin's Star. (HH5)
- Steadholder Samuel Mueller was impeached and executed for treason (conspiracy to murder government officials, and attempted murder of the Protector) on Grayson in 1915 PD. (HH9)
- Captain Warner Caslet was charged with treason (desertion) by the People's Navy after he escaped from the battle cruiser PNS Tepes in the Cerebus System. (HH9)