How the EPO Prevented Scapegoats (‘Defendants’) in Its Mock ‘Trials’ From Actually Presenting a Defense
The Third of May by Francisco Goya (1746–1828)
Summary: Ms Hardon’s lawyers have made it very clear that the firings are “politically motivated” as well as absurd as accusations are unfounded; “many of the “facts” presented by the Disciplinary Committee are incorrect,” they said and “charges against my client are malicious, absurd and ill-founded and should be withdrawn.”
IN a civilised society (i.e. not in the EPO) a typical trial has an accuser/plaintiff and a defended party (defendant). In Eponia, however, which is a cesspool of injustice at the very heart of Europe and Germany, there is just an accuser, who is also the jury, judge, executioner etc. Hey, why not just call this the SS?
The EPO’s lackeys of Team Battistelli, including Ms Bergot who was appointed under amazing circumstances [1, 2, 3, 4], are disregarding any opposing views as we showed here before. Now we have the following letter which says a lot more:
Re: Final Observations in Disciplinary Procedure D8/2015
Dear Ms Bergot,
The sheer number of investigations against my client (three in two years), the nature of the charges and the lack of evidence for these charges are indicative of a harassment process, not by my client but against my client. The absurdity of the charges against my client and against her colleagues of SUEPO is easily recognized by all1, as is the aim of the exercise. By pursuing such charges, the administration is diverting valuable resources from more worthwhile issues and bringing the EPO into disrepute.
The present disciplinary procedure and the preceding investigations against my client, a prominent member of the SUEPO, are clearly politically motivated. Making martyrs (i.e. disciplining staff on the basis of trumped-up charges) is never the best way to make peace. The initiation and pursuit of such charges make a mockery of the President’s claim that he is interested in social dialogue and/or recognizing the SUEPO.
In view of your active involvement at all stages of the procedure, starting with the fact that the harassment complaints were filed by yourself instead of by the alleged victims, followed by interventions on behalf of the Investigative Unit during the investigative process, the initiation of disciplinary proceedings before the investigation process had been completed and your attendance in person at the disciplinary hearing, the strong impression arises that you are pursuing a personal vendetta rather than justice.
The numerous procedural errors, both in the investigative process and in the following disciplinary procedure are a disgrace for an Office that is dedicated to the proper administration of law. Mistakes like entering into the substance of the matter before dealing with procedural issues such as late-filed documents (as happened during the hearing before the Disciplinary Committee) are obvious to every examiner. It is incomprehensible how a Disciplinary Committee comprising four Principal Directors, one of whom is a lawyer, can commit such errors.
1 See e.g. http://ipkitten.blogspot.de/2015/10/when-harassment-gains-new-meaning-epo.html,http://ipkitten.blogspot.de/2015/10/epo-bids-to-save-litigating-employees.html, Decision Case number. Art. 23 1/15 of Enlarged Board of Appeal.
Moreover, many of the “facts” presented by the Disciplinary Committee are incorrect. For example, with respect to the harassment allegations the external investigators concluded that “the exact wording could not be established2”. Of the seven witnesses questioned only one (!) claimed that the wording relied on by the Disciplinary Committee was in fact used. My client strongly denies having used this wording. The Disciplinary Committee nevertheless presented that version of events as an established fact. The misrepresentation of such basic facts raises doubts about the independence and impartiality of the Disciplinary Committee.
Contrary to the allegations of the Disciplinary Committee the investigations C-62 and C-62b are not independent from each other. The Investigation Unit itself claimed to have been mandated to pursue the investigation against my client by the decision of the Administrative Council in the legal document CA/D 12/14 which indeed was the basis for the investigation against the DG3 member.
For the avoidance of doubt, my client emphatically denies having committed any misconduct. She denies in particular having distributed defamatory material about VP4, having knowledge of the alleged establishment of a technical Dark Web TOR network and other, similar means (which due to the fact of the proxy settings of the Office is impossible), having knowledge that confidential EPO material (e.g. from an ongoing DG3 case) is being distributed to third parties, having harassed or threatening other staff representatives or have behaved in an inappropriate way as she disclosed to staff the unlawful acts of the Office and the abuse of power.
The whole procedure impressively documents the legal vacuum created by the President of the Office by exposing the arbitrariness of the illegal regime under which the Office and its staff suffers. By means of the implementation of invalid or otherwise manifestly defective legal instruments such as inter alia Circular No. 342, the insufficient Data Protection Guidelines and by violating the principles due process the President of the Office has managed to create a legal system which is in clear conflict with democratic values and the rule of law.
The charges against my client are malicious, absurd and ill-founded and should be withdrawn.
On behalf of my client, I herewith request that the costs for the legal defence of my client be reimbursed in their entirety. I further request moral and/or exemplary damages for the distress caused.
With Best Regards,
.cc Chairman of the Administrative Council
2 See page 5, second last paragraph of the report of Control Risks
The EPO is like those hawkish political parties that bomb nations without asking for consent from the public. They drop bombs and let others clean up the mess. They rarely even ask any questions later, e.g. when there is blowback. Carrying out these attacks (union-busting) on a Friday wouldn’t soften the blow if people did take action (like contacting delegates). Write to them. It will help. █