Chief O'Brien goes through the horrific Cardassian judicial system when he is charged for an unknown crime.



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Episode cast overview:
Doctor Bashir (as Siddig El Fadil)
Jake Sisko (credit only)
Quark (credit only)
Computer Voice (voice)


Chief O'Brien is preparing for a vacation with his wife Keiko, but has a hard time to leave things in the hands of others. Just after Sisko orders him to disembark, he runs into an old friend. It's Raymond Boone, whom he served with on the Rutledge. He left Starfleet eight years ago and moved to a colony on the Cardassian side of the demilitarized zone. O'Brien hasn't much time to talk to him and leaves with his wife in a runabout. Barely underway a ship suddenly approaches. O'Brien is arrested by the Cardassians for a crime. They refuse to tell him what he did wrong and transport him to undergo a trial. After a painful preparation a Cardassian Juror, Archon Makbar, makes it absolutely clear his guilt is already established and the trial is only a formality. Odo manages to get on O'Brien's defense team as Nestor, while the crew on the station do their best to come up with useful information. Written by Arnoud Tiele (

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Release Date:

5 June 1994 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Production designer Herman F. Zimmerman has said he took inspiration in the set design from George Orwell's 1948 book Nineteen Eighty-Four. Of the final look of Cardassia, Zimmerman explains, "Spartan, uncompromising and merciless are all adjectives that you could use to describe Cardassia." See more »


Odo: May I ask, what penalty does Mr. O'Brien face?
Makbar: His execution is scheduled for next week.
Keiko O'Brien: How can you schedule an execution before a trial even begins?
Makbar: We believe in swift justice.
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References Star Trek: The Next Generation: The Wounded (1991) See more »


Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Main Title
Written by Dennis McCarthy
Performed by Dennis McCarthy
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User Reviews

Kafka's story "The Trial" brought to the 24th century...
19 December 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

In so many ways, this episode of "Star Trek: Deep Space 9" is an updated version of Kranz Kafka's famous story "The Trial". In both, a man has been arrested and is accused of a crime--though WHAT his crime is his captors will never say and any ability to defend himself is impossible.

When the show begins, Miles O'Brien and his wife are on a runabout headed for a much needed vacation. En route, however, the ship is captured by the Cardassians--even though they are in Federation territory. What's more, the Cardassians won't tell them why they insist on arresting Miles! Only later does the eminently fair Cardassian court tell why he was arrested...and at the same time they announce that he is both guilty and will be executed in only a few days--all this BEFORE the trial even begins. When Odo goes to Cardassia to defend O'Brien, the court announces that NO NEW EVIDENCE can be considered--even though Odo can prove that Miles is not guilty!! Is there any way this insane system can be changed and Miles be acquitted?!

This episode has a couple nice guest stars. The best is Fritz Weaver as a defender. With defense attorneys like him, you cannot help but laugh as he is about as helpful as training wheels on an aircraft carrier!! He is hilariously inept, cowardly and worthless- -and funny, In fact, I think he's the best thing about this show! Additionally, John Beck (Moonpie from the original "Rollerball") is on hand as a secret agent working for the cause of injustice. Well worth seeing as well as dark and foreboding. And, for seeing a lot of people who are clearly full of crap!!!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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