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 22/10/2019: Pacman 5.2, Shame of Disney+ DRM, Microsoft's DRM Scheme, Microsoft Reprimanded for Privacy Abuses

    Links for the day



  2. Patents Need to Exist Only to Pass Information Around and Keep Good Ideas Alive, Not to Feed Litigation Firms and Litigation 'Enthusiasts'

    The current situation or the status quo where legal professionals are advised not to even look at patents means that patents aren’t for “information” and “innovation” anymore; moreover, calling them “intellectual property rights” (or IPRs) is spreading a malicious lie



  3. IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 21, 2019

    IRC logs for Monday, October 21, 2019



  4. SUEPO Protest Tomorrow. All EPO Staff in Munich Ought to Attend and Prepare to Strike Too.

    Tomorrow’s planned protest should be a bridge towards a full strike, which takes more time to plan for and get authorisation for (because of increasingly strict restrictions)



  5. Looking for Explanations About Samsung's DeX and Other FOSS Initiatives Being Canned

    DeX was primarily a threat to the desktop/laptop monopoly of Microsoft, so its sudden abandonment — without even an explanation — continues to attract speculations



  6. EPO Will Need a Lot More Than Photo Ops and Hoax 'Studies' to Restore the Perception of Lawfulness

    Battistelli‘s illegal attacks on European Patent Office (EPO) judges have tarnished any impression that the EPO serves justice and the current regime torpedoes an assessment of these attacks; EPO workers understand that to follow guidelines from the management may be a breach of the EPC



  7. Links 21/10/2019: More on DeX, Disney DRM and Linux 5.4 RC4

    Links for the day



  8. GNU/Linux is Bigger Than Ever (Used More Than Ever Before), But Communication Means and Brands Have Changed

    The GNU/Linux market is alive and healthy; it's how we measure its health that ought to adapt because things are constantly changing, more rapidly in the realm of technology than anywhere else



  9. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 20, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, October 20, 2019



  10. Samsung Does Not Say Why It's Dropping DeX, But the ASUS EEE Story Might Offer Clues

    It's not at all outlandish or unreasonable to suggest that Microsoft used patents or bribes or kickbacks as incentives for Samsung to abandon GNU/Linux as a desktop platform



  11. EPO: It's Only Getting Worse

    Inhaling Seagull meme for EPO presidents



  12. It Has Begun: EPO Staff Protests Against António Campinos (Starting Wednesday)

    Wednesday marks the resumption of EPO protests; it’s happening for the first time under Campinos and only a year after he took Office. Even Battistelli, the notorious thug, lasted longer before such escalations/actions or — put another way — he did better than that (if one checks the timeline of his presidency)



  13. Links 20/10/2019: GNU/Linux at Penn Manor School District, Wine-Staging 4.18, Xfce 4.16 Development, FreeBSD 12.1 RC2

    Links for the day



  14. Guest Post: Understanding Autism for More Complete Inclusion

    "...assuming that autistic people are all the same isn't only technically wrong, it is misleading and leads to harmful and needless misunderstandings."



  15. Guest Post: Free Software Freedom is Not a Freedom of Choice

    The concept of "Freedom of Choice" and how the ruling class uses it to give a false impression of "Freedom"



  16. Guest Post: Free Software Developers and Pursuing 'Market Share'

    "The only people interested in software freedom are (almost always) free software developers. And users are interested in freedom to a very limited extent: the "free beer" side. Even many free software developers are only interested in the "free beer" part of free software."



  17. The Assertion That Microsoft Uses Communist Tactics Against GNU/Linux and Free/Libre Software

    A study of Taistoism might help understand how Free/libre software is being undermined



  18. European Patent Office and US Patent and Trademark Office Cranks Discovered Buzzwords, Stopped Worrying, Started Granting Patents They Know to be Fake

    The world's patent repositories are being saturated with loads of junk patents or patents that have no legal bearing but can still be leveraged for extortion purposes; the EPO is resorting to lies and artificially-elevated buzzwords to justify granting such fake (yet ruinous) patents



  19. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, October 19, 2019

    IRC logs for Saturday, October 19, 2019



  20. “The True Hypocrite is the One Who Ceases to Perceive His Deception, the One Who Lies With Sincerity,” Said André Paul Guillaume Gide (Nobel Prize in Literature)

    Lies flow like water in the realm of EPO and its publishers, whose sole role is dissemination of deliberate falsehoods, misnomers and misinformation



  21. The EPO Cannot Guard Fake European Patents From Scrutiny (in the Long Run)

    Legal certainty associated with newly-granted European Patents is already pretty low and as long as the EPO refuses to acknowledge that its courts (or boards) lack autonomy the EPO merely brushes a growing problem under the rug



  22. Links 19/10/2019: DeX Discontinued, DXVK 1.4.3 and Wine 4.18 Released

    Links for the day



  23. 'Corporate Linux' Will Not Protect Software Freedom

    The corporate model is inherently not compatible with software that users themselves fully control (or Software Freedom in general), so we must rely on another model of sovereignty over code and compiled code (binaries)



  24. IRC Proceedings: Friday, October 18, 2019

    IRC logs for Friday, October 18, 2019



  25. 26,000 Posts

    We want to thank those who help spread the word; it gives us moral support and morale.



  26. The Myth of 'Analysts'

    People with exaggerated roles (exaggerated by corporate media and corporations that control them) distort public perceptions about their clients; they're in effect just elevated marketing or Public Relations (PR) operatives



  27. The FSF Has Two Acting Presidents Now

    Alexandre Oliva, who acted as a sort of deputy of Richard Stallman in recent weeks, sheds some much-needed light on the current situation



  28. Should Anybody Dictate the Free Software Movement?

    "There's a great myth, as Jagadees reminds us, that advocacy doesn't produce software. That myth is corporate, and proper advocacy has at times produced the greatest software in the history of computing. If we want great Free software to continue, we need advocacy more than ever."



  29. Links 18/10/2019: More KDE Events and OpenBSD 6.6

    Links for the day



  30. We Don't Know Who Will Run the Free Software Foundation, But We Know Who Will Run the GNU Project

    Software Freedom is under a heavy and perhaps unprecedented attack; some people out there are paid by the attackers to celebrate this attack and defame people (cheering for corporate takeover under the blanket of “Open Source”), but the founder of the Free software movement remains alive, well, and very much active


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