Starfleet Tribunal Submission, stardate 48178.1

Cap­tain Ford Pre­fect, Com­mand­ing Offi­cer USS Neil Arm­strong, NCC-48728.

The fol­low­ing tes­ti­mo­ny is sub­mit­ted in respect of the inquiry into the inter­ac­tions between myself and the crew of the Arm­strong on or around Star­date 48175, on and in the vicin­i­ty of Orgun III.

Act­ing on Starfleet orders we tracked the Fed­er­a­tion ves­sel SS Tes­la to the Orgun sys­tem. Tes­la had lost com­mu­ni­ca­tions and we were ordered to locate and, if appro­pri­ate, res­cue the Fed­er­a­tion personnel/vessel. This is a mat­ter of record.

From orbit we were aware the crew of sci­en­tists had (crash) land­ed on the sur­face of Orgun III, but atmos­pher­ic con­di­tions were such that detailed sen­sor sweeps were not pos­si­ble. Sen­sor data has been sub­mit­ted to the board for ver­i­fi­ca­tion that Arm­strong fol­lowed appro­pri­ate pro­ce­dure and oper­at­ed all equip­ment with skill and diligence.

Unable to ascer­tain the sta­tus of the Tes­la crew from orbit, I led an away team to the plan­et sur­face. The per­son­nel includ­ed in the away team was appro­pri­ate and pro­por­tion­ate to the risk involved in the mis­sion and is a mat­ter of record from shut­tle logs.

All appro­pri­ate steps were tak­en to remain unde­tect­ed, with Cmdr Win­ters pilot­ing the shut­tle appro­pri­ate­ly at all times. How­ev­er, dur­ing the sur­face mis­sion we were engaged by the indige­nous pop­u­la­tion of Orgun III who were mon­i­tor­ing the wreck­age of Tes­la fol­low­ing direct con­tact with its crew. In our ini­tial con­tact we dis­cov­ered that the inhab­i­tants of Orgun III were capa­ble of space trav­el with­in their own sys­tem, but had not dis­cov­ered warp tech­nol­o­gy. They were aware of oth­er species on oth­er plan­ets (specif­i­cal­ly Orgun II) and, after the arrival of the Fed­er­a­tion sci­en­tists, were aware of the wider galac­tic pop­u­la­tion. Spe­cif­ic action to erad­i­cate or obfus­cate this knowl­edge would have, in my judge­ment, been impos­si­ble and so fur­ther actions in respect of our inter­ac­tions are moot. The mat­ter of pos­si­ble inter­fer­ence with the nat­ur­al devel­op­ment of the indige­nous species in the Orgun sys­tem hangs on the ruins up to this point.

I sub­mit to the tri­bunal per­son­al logs as evi­dence of due con­sid­er­a­tion of all fac­tors lead­ing to the actions I under­took and ordered my crew to under­take. I believe them to be whol­ly com­pat­i­ble with all Starfleet direc­tives and ask the tri­bunal to note the records to this effect.