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June 19 2024


An archive of Star Trek News

The Court Martial of Captain Kathryn Janeway Part 2

By Sara Rose
Posted at February 21, 2001 - 1:33 PM GMT

Return to the Court Martial main page

In the case of Starfleet vs. Captain Kathryn Janeway for General Court Martial, Fleet Admiral Ross Presiding

Charges and specifications presented by Lieutenant Commander Sara Rose, First Chair for the Prosecution

Background of the case:

In 2371 Captain Kathryn Janeway was given command of new Intrepid-class ship Voyager. On Stardate 48315.6 of that same year Captain Janeway was ordered to seek out a Maquis ship captained, according to intelligence, by former Lt. Cmdr. Chakotay. One of her officers, Lieutenant Tuvok, was aboard the Maquis ship acting as a spy for the Federation. The Maquis ship had disappeared in an area of space known as the Badlands. It was Captain Janeway's mission to find the ship and apprehend the Maquis traitors on board, returning them to Starfleet headquarters to face justice. Captain Janeway, in the first of many questionable command decisions, had Thomas Eugene Paris, a former crewmember of the Maquis ship in question and, in 2371, a prisoner at the New Zealand Federation Penal Settlement, released to pilot Voyager through the Badlands.

According to ship's logs, Voyager encountered an unknown phenomenon that sent both her and the Maquis ship she was pursuing to the Delta Quadrant, 70,000 light years from Earth. The catapult effect killed a number of the Voyager crewmembers. The Being that brought them to the Delta Quadrant did so with the help of the Array, a highly sophisticated piece of technology. Ship's logs state that the being, called the Caretaker by locals, used the Array not only to bring ships to the Delta Quadrant but also to protect and provide for a race called the Ocampa, who live two miles below the surface of the fifth planet of a neighboring star system.

The Caretaker admitted that he was bringing ships to the Delta Quadrant in order to find a compatible species with which he could procreate, thus providing the Ocampa with someone to care for them after he died, but had found no match. He refused to send Voyager back to the Alpha Quadrant, but logs clearly state that Voyager's crew had learned enough about the Array to use it themselves. Ships logs also confirm that Voyager found a female Caretaker, looking after another Ocampan world, some time after the original incident, which puts the male Caretaker's motives into question.

Another race, the Kazon, who possess a technology far lower than that of Starfleet and live on the surface of the Ocampan planet, tried to forcibly take possession of Voyager's technology but failed in their efforts. In the course of events, however, they did damage the Maquis ship beyond repair. Ships logs state that the Caretaker's plan was to destroy the Array to keep it out of the Kazon's hands, but died before he could carry out his plan. At this point Captain Janeway was left with a simple decision: to carry out her mission and use the Array to return to the Alpha Quadrant with the Maquis, who were all but in her hands, or destroy the Array to keep the Kazon from taking control of it. Janeway claims that she wished to protect the Ocampa from the Kazon, but ship's logs clearly state that the Caretaker had used the Array to send the Ocampa enough energy to sustain them and sealed the tunnels leading into the planet so that the Kazon could not prey them.

The defense will argue that leaving the Array intact and in the hands of the warlike Kazon would have far-reaching repercussions. However the fact is that with the knowledge of the Array that Voyager would have brought back, coupled with the low level of technological expertise of the Kazon, the Federation would be more than prepared to deal with any future use of the Array by the Kazon or any other Delta Quadrant race. This leaves Captain Janeway with no logical reason to disobey her orders to apprehend and return with the Maquis traitors.

Charge I: Disobeying orders:

Specification I: On Stardate 48315.6 Captain Janeway did willfully and with full knowledge of the consequences destroy the Caretaker's Array, making it impossible to fulfill her mission and bring the Maquis traitors to justice.

Charge II: Violating the Prime Directive:

Captain Janeway did willfully and knowingly violate the Prime Directive on four occasions:

Specification I: In this, let us remember that the Prime Directive states that interference with the natural development of any race which possesses a lower level of technology than the Federation is strictly forbidden. Had Captain Janeway not interfered, the Kazon would have taken possession of the Array, this being the natural course of events for their race given the circumstances. Captain Janeway's destruction of the Array was therefore a clear violation of the Prime Directive. Captain Janeway's claim that by destroying she was protecting the Ocampa is mere fabrication, as we have seen.

Specification II: On Stardate 48832.1 Captain Janeway allowed a known war criminal of a race with a lower level of technology than that of Voyager use of the Sickbay and the transporter. Her logs indicate that she sympathized with him, as he was trying to undo damage he had done, but the fact remains that she aided and abetted a criminal and violated the Prime Directive.

Specification III: Stardate Unknown. The Voyager crew beamed aboard a deactivated robot and Janeway allowed Torres to try to reactivate it, using Federation technology. Once revived, the robot insisted that Torres build a prototype power module for the construction of additional units. Belatedly Janeway insisted that this was a violation of the Prime Directive, but the robot kidnapped Torres. Once aboard their ship Torres created the power units they needed, only to destroy them when she found out their true plans. The fact that the technology was destroyed does not excuse the original Prime Directive Violation.

Specification IV: Stardate Unknown. Captain Janeway allowed Voyager to be lured into a trap when she agreed to allow Chakotay to try to rescue the traitor Seska and her newborn child, whom she claimed was his. Kazon treachery served to severely damage the ship and in the course of events the Kazon took over Voyager. Janeway surrendered her ship to the enemy and was stranded with her entire crew, save one crewmember, Ensign Suder, who had been confined to quarters for his violent behavior, on a primitive planet.
By surrendering Voyager to the Kazon rather than destroying her, Janeway not only violated the Prime Directive by placing all of Voyager's technology in the hands of the Kazon, but conducted herself in a way unbefitting an officer, showed her unfitness for command and aided and abetted the enemy. Only by the heroic efforts of the Emergency Medical Hologram, Ensign Suder, and Lieutenant Paris, who successfully sought out the help of the Talaxians, were the Kazon repelled. Lieutenant Paris piloted Voyager by himself to rescue Captain and her crew . It certainly does not speak well for Janeway, her abilities as an officer and her fitness for command that only through the efforts of a former traitor, a sociopath and a hologram did she regain Voyager, saving her crew from almost certain death on the planet on which they had been stranded.

Charge III: Communicating With The Enemy and/or Aiding The Enemy and/or Aiding and Abetting Criminals:

Specification I: On Stardate 48315.6 Captain Janeway brought the remaining crew of the Maquis ship aboard. Rather than put them in the brig, which admittedly would have been a drain on Voyager's resources, she invited them all to join her crew. This was done without taking any security measures, without a probationary period for the Maquis crew, and without any extracting an oath of loyalty from any of them.
Although it is not unusual for a Federation starship to take on extra crewmembers during a deep space mission, it is against every Starfleet law to take those crewmembers from an enemy's ship. Had Captain Janeway taken the above precautions it might have been excusable, under the extreme circumstances in which she had placed her ship and crew, to integrate some of the junior officers of the Maquis ship into her own crew.
However, Captain Janeway went beyond every Starfleet law and protocol by promoting the captain of the Maquis ship, former Lt. Cmdr. Chakotay, to the position of First Officer. In addition she granted Thomas Eugene Paris a battlefield commission, promoting him to Lieutenant. On Stardate 48439.7 she promoted, over the heads of her own Starfleet engineers, the Maquis officer B'Elanna Torres, a former Starfleet cadet who never completed training, to the rank of Chief Engineer. This was after Torres broke the nose of Starfleet engineer Carey. This placed three traitors on Janeway's Senior Staff, a staff that only numbered five. Only one of the two Starfleet officers was a seasoned officer. This effectively put the Maquis is control of Voyager, with only Lieutenant Tuvok and Captain Janeway herself between the Maquis and complete command of Voyager. This is not speculation. These are the facts as recorded by the Captain's own logs.

Specification II: The effect of being stranded so far from home had a devastating effect on Voyager's crew. So desperate were they to get home that on Stardate 48579.4 Kathryn Janeway and her crew contacted a Romulan ship through a wormhole. Kathryn Janeway also did willfully and knowingly beam the captain of the Romulan ship aboard Voyager.

Specification III: On Stardate 48658.2 Captain Janeway's unlawful decision to merge the Maquis crew with her own brought terrible results when it was learned that one of the Maquis crew, Seska, had given a food replicator to the Kazon. This clearly was done during Voyager's encounter with the Kazon at the Kazon/Ocampan planet. As we all know, a simple food replicator can be used to produce nearly anything in the right hands. Unfortunately for the Kazon, the replicator was disastrously incompatible with their own technology. Compounding this violation of Federation law was the realization that Seska was a Cardassian spy cosmetically altered to look like a Bajoran. Further, it was found that Seska had rejected Janeway's leadership from the start and had sought allies among Kazon with the gift of the technology. Before Seska could be arrested she beamed aboard the Kazon ship and escaped, taking with her all of her knowledge of Federation protocols, technology, and frequencies, as well as those of the Maquis and Cardassia . This called into question the loyalty of the entire Maquis crew, and Janeway's unlawful decisions to integrate them into her crew rather than arresting them all immediately.

Specification IV: On Stardate 48423.0 Seska returned with her Kazon allies to steal a transporter module. Her knowledge allowed her allies to penetrate Voyager's shields. The Kazon managed to capture Chakotay and attempted to extract Voyager's command codes from him. That they failed due to Commander Chakotay's loyalty to Captain Janeway does not in any way diminish the fact that merging the crews was a criminal act verging on treason.

Specification V: This violation is clearly stated in Charge II Specification II, in that Kathryn Janeway did willfully and knowingly aid and abet a known war criminal.

Specification VI: As clearly stated in Charge II Specification III: Captain Janeway allowed Voyager to be lured into a trap when she agreed to allow Chakotay to try to rescue the traitor Seska and her newborn child.

Specification VII: Stardate 49337.4 Captain Janeway did willfully and at the urging of her Maquis First Officer seek to form an alliance with several factions of the Kazon. When initial overtures with the Kazon failed, she formed an alliance with the Trabe, the Kazon's mortal enemy. Thinking that she could still form an alliance with the Kazon, uniting the various factions in doing so, she called for a conference between the factions, but the Trabe attacked the conference, making the Kazon even firmer enemies of Voyager. Having aided the Trabe in their actions against the Kazon, the Trabe themselves became enemies of Voyager when Janeway fended off their attack on the Kazon. This incident once again calls into question Captain Janeway's conduct in general and fitness for command.

Specification VIII: Stardate 50984.3 Captain Janeway made a deal with the Borg, confirmed enemies of the Federation, to help them destroy an enemy of their own in exchange for free passage through their space. Her reason for striking this deal is quite clear: passage through this particular area of the Delta Quadrant was the shortest route to the Alpha Quadrant. Going around Borg space would add decades to their journey. Although the deal Captain Janeway struck with the Borg did gain them the passage they needed, the Borg subsequently turned on them, becoming once again the enemy of Voyager. In addition, Janeway made a powerful enemy of the species she helped the Borg to defeat: a species the Borg designate 8472. This incident once again brings into question Captain Janeway's fitness for command as well as her original decision to strand her ship and crew in the Delta Quadrant.

Charge IV: Violating the Temporal Prime Directive:

Specification I: On Stardate 48579.4, having contacted said Romulan ship, Kathryn Janeway and her crew learned that the ship was twenty years in their past. Despite the fact that they did not discover this until the captain was beamed aboard, Kathryn Janeway encouraged her crew in the violation of the Temporal Prime Directive by sending messages home with the Romulan captain, tempering the violation by asking the captain to deliver the messages twenty years in his future. The crew had already formed a workable plan to beam the entire crew to the Romulan ship, but stopped just short of violating the Temporal Prime Directive completely. The only reason Starfleet was not made aware of these violation until Voyager returned is that the Romulan captain died before he could deliver the messages.

Charge V: Conduct Unbefitting an Officer and Unfitness For Command:

Specification I: By destroying said Array Captain Janeway did willfully strand her ship and crew in the Delta Quadrant, 70,000 light years from Earth.

Specification II: On Stardate 48642.5 some of the crew were so desperate to get home, or at least a bit closer, that two of the Maquis crew, Torres and Seska, banded together with Starfleet officer Carey and Lieutenant Tuvok in an effort to gain technology from a more advanced race that would "fold" space. The fact that a seasoned and decorated officer would put his career on the line to get the ship home speaks volumes against the decision Janeway made to destroy their only reliable means of getting back to the Alpha Quadrant. It is clear that the officers and crew had very little respect for Janeway and for the command decision she made.

Specification III: As evidence of the effects Janeway's initial decision to strand her crew in the Delta Quadrant, on Stardate 49485.2 yet another crewmember, Michael Jonas, was found to be a traitor who had been passing secrets to the Kazon. Only through the investigative skills of Neelix was the traitor discovered. Jonas died accidentally after getting into a fight with Neelix.

Specification IV: As clearly stated in Charge II Specification III, Kathryn Janeway surrendered her ship to the enemy and allowed her crew and herself to be stranded on a hostile planet.

In light of these facts, all supported completely by Voyager's own logs, the prosecution calls for the immediate court martial of Captain Kathryn Janeway. The extent of the charges demand the most severe punishment for her crimes.

In subsequent weeks, Da Woim, Voyager forum moderator of the TrekBBS, will argue seasons 1-3 for the Defence before we move on to the second speakers - David E. Sluss (aka infamous reviewer The Cynic) who’ll continue the argument for the Prosecution through to the present from season four, while Lisa, Grand High Janewayite of the J-Team, will once more present the case for the Defence. In the mean time, go back to the introductory article.

What do you think? Should Janeway be found innocent or guilty? Please send in your reactions to and they might be published in a special edition of the Trek Nation mailbag!

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Sara Rose is better known as 'Ariel' and writes the weekly column 'Subspace Echoes' at’s Star Trek Central

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