EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

01.19.16

SLAPP-Happy EPO Vice-President Željko Topić Loses Croatian Defamation Lawsuit — AGAIN!

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Case over alleged bribery resurfaces, lost by Topić

Audi EPO

Summary: Topić has just lost — yet again! — a case over claims about ‘missing’ cars (related to a famous case in Croatia, one that landed several high officials in Zagreb’s prison, including the Prime Minister of Croatia)

THANKS to our invaluable sources in Croatia (and also outside Croatia), we now have an update regarding the Croatian defamation lawsuit, initiated by Topić in an effort to silence a legitimate critic who spoke to officials (very much like the suspended judge at the EPO, who is also alleged to have spoken about Topić’s alleged crimes to European officials). Some local (Croatian) reporters refer to Željko Topić as Ivo 'Sanader’s Protégé' (Sanader is in prison now).

Techrights has done much of the (usually exclusive) English language overage about this whole scandal before, including this one case in particular (there are reportedly more cases). In chronological order, here are some of the articles we wrote about this subject:

Here is some of the latest information about the famous (or should that be “infamous”) Croatian defamation lawsuit.

Following the Judgment of the Municipal Criminal Court delivered on the 28th of January (2015) which acquitted Vesna Stilin was of the charges raised against her by Topić, Topić filed an appeal.

According to available information, he requested the Appeal Court to remit the case to a different judge for a retrial.

The Appeal Court decided that the case should be sent back to the same judge at the court of first instance (Marijan Bertalanić) for the correction of some minor formal errors relating to the citation of the applicable provisions of Croatian criminal law.

In the mean time, Topić ditched his original lawyer Janjko Grlić of the prominent and politically well-connected Zagreb law firm Gajski, Grlić, Prka & Partners and switched to another well-known Croatian law firm Šerić and Šerić operated by Mr. Branko Šerić and his son Aljoša Šerić [1, 2].

When the defamation case against Vesna Stilin was reopened before judge Marijan Bertalanić, Topić requested the hearing of further witnesses and the judge allowed this.

At a Court hearing on the 23th of September (2015), Topić was represented by Aljoša Šerić but didn’t appear in person.

The witnesses which Topić had requested to be heard turned out to be a disaster for him.

  • The first witness was a former chauffeur at the Croatian State Intellectual Property Office who excused himself from attending the hearing due to health problems.
  • The second witness was an employee of the SIPO who said that she didn’t know anything about the subject of the hearing. She explained that she had only joined the SIPO after Stilin’s departure so that she had no direct knowledge of the conflict between Stilin and Topić.
  • The third and final witness was Ms. Ljiljana Kuterovac, the current Director-General of the SIPO and Croatia’s representative on the EPO’s Administrative Council who is said to Topić’s protegée. Kuterovac said that she understood the subject of the hearing as she had been informed about it by Topić. When asked about the public lending right (PLR), she claimed that the SIPO had done everything necessary for its implementation in Croatia. However she admitted that the PLR was outside her area of expertise and that she didn’t know the precise details of the conflict between Stilin and Topić.

A final court hearing was scheduled for the 18th of December (2015). Topić and his lawyer didn’t appear for this hearing with the excuse that Topić had official duties that prevented him from attending.

The hearing was rescheduled for the 14th of January, 2016 (that’s just a few days ago).

Despite having been duly summoned, neither Topić nor his lawyer turned up for the January hearing. The judge was surprised and wondered what was going on as Topić had failed to notify the Court of his non-attendance. In the end, a decision to discontinue the proceedings under Article 401 par. 2 of the Croatian Criminal Procedure Code was issued.

Unless he decides to appeal the decision, it seems that Topić’s defamation proceedings against Vesna Stilin are now closed.

A copy of the minutes of the court hearing has been sent to us along with an English translation. Here is the original in Croatian [PDF] and a translation into English (with original structure preserved) [PDF]. For those who don’t like PDF files, here is the somewhat flattened text as HTML:

REPUBLIC OF CROATIA
Municipal Criminal Court in Zagreb
Ilica – Selska, Ilica 207

File ref. no.: 7. K-586/15

MINUTES
of 14 January 2016

Present for the Court:
Marijan Bertalanić
(Presiding Judge – Judge)

Ankica Zorić
(Registrar)

Criminal case:
Private prosecutor: Željko Topić

Defendant: Vesna Stilin

For the criminal offence pursuant to
Article 200/2 et alia of the Criminal Code

The presiding judge opened the hearing at 13:35 and announced the subject matter of the trial. The presence of the parties was established as follows:

1. For the private prosecutor [Željko Topić] – nobody, legal representative of the private prosecutor, Branko Seric – nobody
2. Injured party:
3. Defendant: Vesna Stilin, legal representative of the defendant, attorney-at-law Zoran Životić
4. Witnesses:

It is established that the summons issued to the private prosecutor [Željko Topić] was returned with an annotation from the courier “notified, did not collect delivery” and that the duly summoned legal representative of the private prosecutor, attorney-at-law Branko Seric was not in attendance.

The Judge delivers the following

DECISION

Pursuant to Art. 401 par. 2 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the criminal proceedings against the defendant Vesna Stilin in the matter of the private prosecution by Željko Topić from 4th February 2011 are discontinued. Completed at 13:39.

Judge:

Registrar:

So Topić didn’t even show up in a SLAPP case that he himself had initiated. We already explained here before why we believe this wasn’t his first SLAPP action (in an effort to cover up abuses). Months ago I too became a victim of these ugly tactics.

While this case, on its own (there are reportedly more), does not prove criminality, it does serve to disprove claims that allegations of criminality are false. In other words, Željko Topić cannot effectively defend himself from Stilin’s accusations, which definitely lends credibility to these accusations. Based on the bizarre apology posted by a key source (similar to the EPO’s demands from me), we have reasonable grounds for suspicion that Topić went on an expedition to silence his exposers, to the point of threatening them with defamation lawsuits (so that they delete/remove incriminating evidence). That’s what out-of-control rich people tend to do when they cannot win an argument. Is Battistelli going to announce this decision to his staff in an internal communiqué or will he just deceive the staff by omission again?

As a side note, Topić’s new lawyer, Branko Šerić, is known in Croatia for his role as a Defence Counsel in the case of Vinko Martinović before the U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. See the details here [PDF]. More recently, he has acted as defence counsel in a number of high-profile cases involving allegations of corruption during the Sanader era such as the “Maestro” [1, 2] and “HEP” cases [1, 2]. Aljoša Šerić is something of a minor celebrity in his home country. Apart from his membership of the legal profession, he pursues a parallel career in music and has played with the Croatian groups “Ramirez” (band) and “Pavel“.

“In a state where corruption abounds, laws must be very numerous.”

Tacitus

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 25/6/2019: Raspberry Pi 4, Ubuntu's Change of Mind, Wayland’s Weston 6.0.1

    Links for the day



  2. Patent Extremism: Stacking the Panels, the Surveys, the Hearings, the Debates

    Projection tactics would have the public believe that those who oppose corruption are simply radicals; patent polarity has come to the point where if one isn't a "true believer" in blackmail (patent trolls) or opposes bribery, then one is simply a "fringe" and akin to terrorists



  3. Links 24/6/2019: Linux 5.2 RC6, Skrooge 2.20.0, ZFS vs. OpenZFS

    Links for the day



  4. The EPO Needs a President Who Obeys the Law, Not One Who Obeys Battistelli

    Succession based on nepotism at Europe's second-largest institution served to shown how inherently broken things had become and why cover-up of injustices is nowadays paramount (not fixing the flaws/ills but merely perpetuating them)



  5. With Water (Treatment) Already Patented It Won't Take Long for Patents (and Patent Royalties) on Air

    A 'paper economy' is what Europe turns into if the current trajectory is followed (led by lawyers, not producers)



  6. Bill Gates Said He Was on a “Jihad” Against GNU/Linux, But GNU/Linux Users/Developers Engaged in Self-Defense Are Foul-Mouthed 'Microsoft Haters'?

    Microsoft, which routinely commits very serious crimes, tries to come across as some sort of philanthropy whereas those who share their work with the public (for greater good) are described as erratic, rude and unworthy of respect from corporations (outcasts basically, deprived of income source)



  7. What Patents the EPO Has Just Awarded (With a Special Reward), Not Just Granted

    The EPO's practice of elevating some patents over the other patents (European Patents) is perhaps more of a societal liability than the EPO cares to realise



  8. Required Reading: Mental State of Team Battistelli/Campinos

    On the heels of yesterday's article about Team Battistelli/Campinos, here are some recommended/required papers on the problem which likely plagues the Office



  9. Links 23/6/2019: Wine 4.11, FreeBSD 11.3 RC2

    Links for the day



  10. Microsoft Apparently Did a Patrick Durusau on Wim Coekaerts to Broaden Its Control Over GNU/Linux

    Microsoft tactics for defection and takeover of the competition (without coming across as hostile) aren't new tactics; internal documents from Microsoft explain how to achieve this



  11. EPO Directors Would be Wise to Rebel Against Team Campinos While They Still Have the Job

    As the EPO continues its bold journey towards dictatorship (where presidencies are passed between friends and ‘circles’ are former colleagues or close confidants) Techrights urges those who have power to speak out — e.g. EPO judges and Directors — to do something before it’s too late



  12. American Front Group Open Invention Network (Riding the Linux Brand) is a Proponent of Software Patents in Europe

    The impact of American multinationals in Europe is difficult to deny; in fact, we're observing the same old lobbying/lobbies still working hard albeit more covertly (typically using front groups)



  13. Say 'Hey Hi' to Software Patents

    Using the “AI” (“HEY HI”) hype the ‘community’ of patent maximalists hopes that every little (and possibly very old) algorithm will suddenly sound amazing and innovative — to the point where it becomes unthinkable to deny a patent monopoly on it



  14. A Personal Note From Ted MacReilly (How Microsoft Works Against GNU/Linux)

    A tongue-in-cheek write-up highlighting the ways Microsoft insiders think and how they strategise against GNU/Linux and Free/libre software



  15. The Linux Foundation's New Vice Chair, Wim Coekaerts, Worked for Microsoft

    The Linux Foundation is boosting the Microsoft boosters and calls that "community"



  16. Links 21/6/2019: GNOME 3.33.3, 32-Bit Support Further Neglected, DragonFlyBSD 5.6.1 Released

    Links for the day



  17. Leaked: Harassment of EPO Directors by Team Campinos

    “New BIT organisation and staff changes,” a novel kind of newspeak, means that Directors are being severely punished without due process at all (“hidden disciplinary measure without disciplinary proceedings”)



  18. Patent Professionals in Europe Have Devolved Into a Marketing Industry

    Lies, buzzwords and hype waves is all that the patent bubble in Europe boils down to these days; loads of bogus patents get granted only for European judges to smack these down (if one can afford the court battle)



  19. Almost Six Months After Iancu Said He Would Make Software Patents Great Again Nothing Has Actually Changed

    We're just a fortnight away from the ludicrous plan of Iancu celebrating 6 months (without accomplishing anything)



  20. Links 20/6/2019: Kubernetes 1.15, Alpine 3.10.0 and Librem 5 June Software Update

    Links for the day



  21. Ignore the EPO's Dumb Festival and Focus on the Abuses Against the Workforce and Its Quality of Work

    Don’t lose sight of the appalling behaviour of the management of the EPO; the last thing it wants is press coverage about its gross abuses and corruption — an aspect it spent literally millions of euros to bury (gaming the news cycle)



  22. Microsoft Attempting to Destroy the Careers of Its Critics, Including Free Software Proponents

    Microsoft isn't changing and has not changed; the tactics described above are still being used, even by its "Open Source" (or "Open at Microsoft") people, who did this to me



  23. Links 19/6/2019: Linux Mint Vs Vista 10, Qt 5.13 Released

    Links for the day



  24. The Linux Foundation's Business Model

    The Linux Foundation's plan, illustrated



  25. Links 18/6/2019: i386 Abandoned by Canonical and a New osquery 'Community'

    Links for the day



  26. Indifference or Even Hostility Towards Patent Quality Results in Grave Injustice

    The patent extravaganza in Europe harms small businesses the most (they complain about it), but administrative staff at patent offices only cares about the views of prolific applicants rather than the interests of citizens in respective countries



  27. Links 18/6/2019: CentOS 8 Coming Soon, DragonFly BSD 5.6 Released

    Links for the day



  28. 'AI Taskforce' is Actually a Taskforce for Software Patents

    The mainstream media has been calling just about everything "HEY HI!" (AI), but what it typically refers to is a family of old algorithms being applied in possibly new areas; patent maximalists in eastern Asia and the West hope that this mainstream media's obsession can be leveraged to justify new kinds of patents on code



  29. Patent Maximalism is Dead in the United States

    Last-ditch efforts, or a desperate final attempt to water down 35 U.S.C. § 101, isn't succeeding; stacked panels are seen for what they really are and 35 U.S.C. § 101 isn't expected to change



  30. Links 18/6/2019: Linux 5.2 RC5 and OpenMandriva Lx 4

    Links for the day


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts