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.