DUUREANTA (HARROULE IV) – Four months after his arrest on corruption charges, Tanvir Vasumati emerged from the Duureanta Primary Court building a free man.

Vasumati, the former chief inspector of the Duureanta Narcotics Task Force, was visibly thin and pale, but smiled broadly.

“I knew all along I would be vindicated in court,” he said. “These allegations against me were false from the start. I look forward to getting on with my life.”

Under Vasumati’s leadership, the task force had been making serious inroads into the illegal khuska oil trade. Khuska oil, produced from the seeds of the plant of the same name, can be used in the preparation of pain relieving medications. However, it can also be refined into a potent narcotic. Refining khuska oil requires a special permit and is stringently regulated.

In less than six month’s time, the task force had located and seized more than 1.5 kilograms of black market khuska oil. With his frequent press conferences and tough approach to dealing with narcotics smugglers, Vasumati had attained a high public profile and some even hinted that he might make a run for governor of the colony.

All that came to an abrupt end, however, when a 24-count indictment was handed down. Among the allegations were that Vasumati accepted bribes, received contraband materials and used his position for personal gain.

During a month-long trial, Vasumati’s attorney, Haslam Nantirjadal, dismantled the charges one by one. In a dramatic turn, Nantirjadal led a key prosecution witness through a line of questioning that ended with the man recanting an earlier statement he had made to authorities.

The man, whose identity was withheld, had told investigators that he had personally witnessed Vasumati accepting bribes of cash and narcotics during shakedowns of clandestine khuska oil refineries. The man’s initial statement said the seized product Vasumati showed to the media was not destroyed, but was instead sold onto the black market with Vasumati keeping a share of the profits.

On the witness stand, the man said none of this story was true. Representatives of the Serpentis drug cartel paid him to provide the false statements to police, he said.

After closing arguments were made, the jury deliberated for less than an hour before returning a not guilty verdict on all charges.

Vasumati said he would not be returning to a career in law enforcement, but deflected a question about a run for office.

“For now, I’m going to love my wife and spend time with my children,” he said. “Once I have made up for lost time, I will announce the next chapter in my life. Whatever I do, you can rest assured it will be to the benefit of people of Duureanta.”