"The order for the operation was given by Prime Minister Karin Midular's war cabinet and carried out by an Admiral of the Republic Fleet," said the source at a press conference in Renyn yesterday afternoon. "We had determined through an extensive campaign of intelligence-gathering operations ... that Karishal Muritor's group of terrorists were posing a threat to our relations with foreign powers ... [and] by association implicating the Republic in military action it has never instigated nor condoned. Muritor was a threat to the safety of our Republic, a threat that very unfortunately necessitated removal by any means."
"The Admiral was ordered to bring him in, and he persisted in refusing, so things regrettably went the way they did," the source said.
Muritor, a highly-decorated former Captain of the Republic Fleet and later leader of the rebel splinter group the Defiants, was killed after a brief exchange of words with Republic Fleet Admiral Kanth Filmir near Planet X in the Auga system.
According to GALNet reports from capsuleer witnesses present at the time of the skirmish, Muritor had agreed to a conversation under a banner of truce agreed to between him the Admiral, the two reportedly having been old friends. After a brief exchange of words, it became clear that Muritor would not cease and desist in his actions against the Amarr Empire, and the Admiral deployed a strike force which held and attacked the rebel leader.
Members of Matari paramilitary organization the Ushra'Khan who were present at the scene at this point opened fire on the Admiral's forces, but were told to cease and desist by both the Admiral and Muritor, who himself refused to open fire on Republic Fleet forces. According to reports, his last words, before his vessel went up in bright ball of flame, were "Do not forget what we achieved with so few. Do not forget."
The public response to Muritor's death has been one of outrage. Multiple wakes and vigils have been held in cities all over the Republic, and dissenter rallies have been held calling for Karin Midular's resignation.
The response within the capsuleer community has been even more pronounced. The aforementioned Ushra'Khan, a group with long-standing yet historically shaky ties to the Republic, declared Prime Minister Midular their "number one enemy," calling for a 1 ISK bounty on her head, the "value representing her worth to the Minmatar people, rounded up."
The Amarr Chamberlain's Office has yet to comment on the matter, but sources from within their administrative wing have reported that the Chamberlain is "eminently satisfied" with the results of the Fleet's operation.