EPO Hypocritically Responds to TV Program by Defamation/Mocking of the Dead and Threats to the Media (Truth as Defamation?)
Stay classy, Battistelli et al. (more attempts to chill the media)
Original photo: Minister-president Rutte from Nederland
Summary: Techrights will accelerate dissemination of the recent Bayerisches Fernsehen TV program in response to what looks like an attack by the EPO’s management on the media (again) and also controversial accusations (leaking out of confidential and dubious ‘investigations’ again) made against the dead
YESTERDAY we made local copies (right here, no third party/ies) in English, the original in German, and also in French of a very recent TV program. It’s probably a good thing that we did so, as we are seeing a pattern of censorship (as used against Techrights and against SUEPO in the recent past) in its early phase. It’s hard to censor TV programs which were already screened (national broadcast); preserving the programs is another matter.
“It’s hard to censor TV programs which were already screened (national broadcast); preserving the programs is another matter.”The scandalous EPO management always finds excuses for its abusive behaviour; those who speak out about/against such abusive behaviour end up being compared to Nazis, criminals, snipers etc.
Battistelli et al habitually attack the messengers, typically whistleblowers, and then celebrate actions such as union-busting, all this while comparing these unions to "Mafia" (and judges to "Nazis").
Fortunately for the unions and the judges, they’re still alive and they can attempt to defend themselves. The EPO has a massive PR contract with which to smear them and it’s even easier when the accused is dead, hence unable to defend himself/herself. Those who have followed this saga long enough probably know too well that EPO accusations against staff are extracted under immense pressure (intimidation and more) and sometimes even made up or entrapped for. The same thing happened in the (in)famous Aaron Swartz case. This is in fact what many of the complaints themselves are about and this is why the EPO came under intense fire. This mirrors in some ways what happened in WIPO (there too there are gagged/daemonised whistleblowers and even suicides).
“The EPO is drunk on power and if it’s not stopped very soon, then more suicides can be expected.”Earlier this month we showed that EPO management (Battistelli’s circle) was flipping out because of the TV program which exposed the nastiness and the illegalities of the ‘Gestapo’ [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. Well, not too shockingly Battistelli’s circle at the EPO responds to such a TV program by attacking the dead and what looks like an implicit threat to the media. One day we are hoping to show that newspapers too are subjected to such abusive tactics. The EPO is drunk on power and if it’s not stopped very soon, then more suicides can be expected. The media too is facing a firing line.
What follows is the latest “Communique” from EPO management (appeared today as a supposedly factual response). Our response is in-line below. We attempted to keep it concise, but it’s still rather long (and it’s 3 AM here, it actually took me 2 hours to write it).
Report on Bayerisches Fernsehen
More like ‘damage control’, not a “report”.
Distorted information and facts
On 2 March, the Bayerisches Fernsehen aired a report about the Office on which we have already commented with a first note.
We wrote about it before. There was something menacing about it, as if the EPO was preparing to sue the reporters and/or their bosses (potentially costing these reporters their jobs).
The broadcast portrays the Office in a way that is factually false and damaging to the EPO’s external image.
Damaging to the EPO’s external image? For sure. Factually false? No. The EPO does not have some God-given right to have a positive external image and if its actions are so abusive (if not corrupt), then it deserves negative publicity. Only a psychopath or a sociopath would be so intolerant/resistant to criticism.
In several aspects, it concerns staff members’ privacy for which the Office has always adopted very protective behaviour. The broadcast implies that our management and staff – including our occupational health physicians, lawyers, investigators, administrative staff, as well as staff members from all DGs involved to various degrees – are acting in a non-professional way and would even be endangering the health of other colleagues. This is false, offensive and totally unacceptable.
Nope. It is ABSOLUTELY CORRECT based on what we have been hearing from many separate sources. The Office does not care about “staff members’ privacy” as if claims. Just look what it did to a suspended judge. There are many other examples as such. The EPO is selectively ousting people based on Battistelli’s evil agenda. In that respect, the EPO is hardly any better than North Korea. Maybe the UN should take a closer look at Battistelli, the I.U. and the EPO, rather than only obsess over North Korea (incidentally, see the nature of the WIPO scandals in relation to North Korea).
The EPO says it has “adopted very protective behaviour” when it comes to privacy. This is just hilarious. How many EPO staff members know about the (personal) data exchange with Europatis? Read all about it in:
- Jacques Michel (Former EPO VP1), Benoît Battistelli’s EPO, and the Leak of Internal Staff Data to Michel’s Private Venture
- Europatis: “Turnover of €211,800 and Zero Employees”
- Loose Data ‘Protection’ and Likely Privacy Infringements at the EPO: Here’s Who Gets Employees’ Internal Data
- Summary of the EPO-Europatis Series
- Revolving Doors of High-Level EPO Management: Jacques Michel and the Questel Deal With the EPO
Regarding “endangering the health of other colleagues,” see how EPO management (mis)treats ill staff. That’s despicable. Even China isn’t this bad. The EPO under Battistelli has become like some kind of Republican/neo-liberal experiment in human rights abandonment, something akin to the Stanford prison experiment.
We have therefore analysed the broadcast thoroughly, including sequences, statements and accusations therein, as a basis for discussion with the Bayerisches Fernsehen on the topics that seem essential to us.
Below we provide you with the same information.
We are “transparent” enough when it suits us, i.e. when it demonises those who help expose our abuses.
This information only contains what can be made public.
We omit the stuff that doesn’t bolster our side/position, e.g. Battistelli’s secret contract and defense of the accused.
It explains the background and real facts behind the events fictitiously outlined or even fabricated in the broadcast.
Both “fictitiously” and “fabricated”, eh? Like the EPO 'results'?
It shows how information has been distorted and how crucial facts were omitted, changing the context of entire events.
Get your “facts” and “information” from Battistelli and his boys (and his boy’s wife), because nobody but they is the fountain of truth.
From the broadcast by the Bayerisches Fernsehen:
Suicide of Mr S.
As if the name isn’t obvious already from the broadcast. Whose identity are they trying to guard?
They conveniently forgot the scare quotes.
Disciplinary procedures are initiated only after facts have been established and not based on simple suspicions. Mr S. admitted, both in person and through his lawyer, to having sent anonymous death wishes and severe insults to three colleagues working in Patent Administration.
Given the accusations made against Ms. Hardon (and repeatedly refuted), we urge readers to be sceptical of the above. The EPO has a terrible track record on accuracy. It should be noted that “death wishes” aren’t the same as death threats. I received numerous death wishes over the years (even online and at times anonymously), however I never received death threats. I know some who have.
These letters led to serious health effects in the case of at least one of the colleagues concerned in pregnancy.
The EPO evokes “health”, conveniently forgetting what it did to Ms. Hardon's health. In its threatening legal letters (sent to me) the EPO used similar strategies, as if being emotionally harmed is in itself grounds for action. My lawyer clarified that it doesn’t work this way. When someone gets exposed doing something wrong or unethical that someone is likely to feel agitated and stressed. This in itself isn’t grounds for seeking damages/reparations.
The same letters were made available to other colleagues. Mr S.’s suicide occurred in June 2014, only days after he had suffered a tragic loss in his personal life.
Let’s divert attention to something else then. When causing someone to commit suicide it’s just so convenient to divert attention.
The Office has supported his family after his death with psychological and administrative support. Until the said broadcast, his brother had never complained about the Office’s possible responsibility. On the contrary, he thanked the Office for its support on several occasions. (see also here EPO guideline regarding psycho-social risks).
In the case against Ms. Hardon (amateurish accusations sheet) we saw these same claims coming from the EPO. If the brother ‘defected’ — so to speak — then it’s probably because he found out something that he didn’t know before. The EPO doesn’t seem to be able to accept that. The EPO also regularly misleads people, which makes one wonder…
Dismissal of staff members
These are staff representatives. Don’t repeat the lie that this is all just a coincidence. They are targeting unions. This is unequivocally union-busting action. It is made abundantly clear from letters that we published here before (in full or in part).
The EPO lies in small doses and small steps. Don’t fall for it.
They conveniently forgot the scare quotes again.
According to our Service Regulations, dismissal can only occur after a thorough disciplinary procedure in case of serious misconduct (frauds, severe acts of harassment, gross negligence) or incompetence (continuous lack of fulfilment of professional duties). In the past 3 years, there have been 2 dismissals per year following disciplinary procedures on issues such as fraud and repeated severe moral harassment.
What are they getting at? We’re obviously not talking about “fraud” or even “repeated severe moral harassment” here (unless the made-up claims against Ms. Hardon get counted as the latter). What about Ion Brumme? Was his ‘offense’ the signing up of more members for the incredibly popular union, SUEPO? The EPO just relies on people being lazy or insufficiently informed. One can imagine how they bully the TV staff over it, Battistelli style…
How many TV channels will be ‘brave’ enough to criticise the EPO after this journalism-shaming routine?
Disciplinary procedures against staff representatives/union officials
“Union-busting” is shorter.
They conveniently forgot the scare quotes again.
Disciplinary procedures are not launched based on suspicions but on facts and evidence. The events leading to disciplinary procedures and subsequent sanctions against some staff representatives do not relate to having expressed criticism or disagreements with management, nor are they linked to the colleagues’ role as staff representatives or trade union officials. They relate to the facts of moral harassment, abuse of authority towards other colleagues (denial of their fundamental rights), as well as defamations and insults via the use of external blogs under hidden pseudonyms.
This is nonsense. A person who didn’t even lodge a complaint is being used as a phantom ‘witness’ to bring about excuses to dismiss Ms. Hardon, making it appear like the real cause for dismissal rather than her speech (like the use of rape allegations against Julian Assange in order to muzzle Wikileaks). This is a classic union-busting and movement-crushing tactic (many examples exist, including recent ones beyond the scope of this response). As for “defamation”, the EPO needs to actually investigate Željko Topić’s terrible status in Croatia rather than people who speak about it (obviously anonymously, for their own protection).
Maybe Bayerisches Fernsehen should consider doing another episode, this time about Željko Topić (if his story is even possible to fit within one episode at all). There would be many criminal charges to cover.
The Office has a duty to prevent and sanction such actions.
Except when Topić, Battistelli and other untouchable thugs do it? This is a two-tiered ‘justice’ system, where some people enjoy inculpability and some are assumed to be guilty all along (because the agenda makes it imperative).
Not doing so would on the contrary engage the responsibility of the Office. In certain cases, the process was launched due to direct complaints against the staff representatives/trade union officials introduced by other staff members, in all cases on the basis of facts and documents voluntarily reported by the victims.
“In certain cases” is a term used because it wasn’t always the case and they know it.
Acts of intimidation by the respondents have taken place against witnesses, victims and EPO officials in charge of the cases throughout the fact-finding and disciplinary procedures. An elected staff representative, member of SUEPO, even asked for the protection of the administration. As an example, a staff representative, harassed by other staff representatives, resigned from his mandate and wrote publicly this on 25 November 2014.
This is a distortion of what actually happened because when the accuser, the judge and so on is the same person, what kind of a moron even frames this as above, as if there’s a legitimate legal process at hand? It’s a mock trial, and Elodie Bergot sure isn’t happy about people discovering that she’s the mistress of ceremony (MC) of it all. It is a blatant spit on democracy, on the rule of law, and on human rights.
Investigation Unit meeting a Staff Representative in The Hague
Investigations at the EPO are carried out to address concerns of harm to colleagues, the Office’s resources, or its reputation.
Remember that Topić, Battistelli, Bergot and so on count as “colleagues”, so basically criticising the management for something (anything!) would be interpreted as “harassment”. It’s funny that they again mention “reputation”, almost as though the EPO has a God-given right to good reputation.
The facts pertaining to allegations of misconduct are established objectively and impartially, taking into account all exculpatory and inculpatory evidence and mitigating or aggravating circumstances.
“Objectively and impartially”? On EPO payroll? Or external contracts (EPO ‘dark money’) with Control Risks? That’s a mockery of the very notion of fair trial, let alone of ad hoc justice.
No staff member has ever “collapsed” during or in relation to an investigation interview.
Nonsense. That’s just denial. See above regarding the suicide. Similar pattern for sure…
As someone from the EPO put this when asked, “it is really horrible. Quite a few people in the Office who were friends of Wolfgang were very upset.”
Audio records of the meetings are made of each meeting and are at the disposal of the disciplinary committee (which itself also includes two staff representative members) and of the interviewee. In all the interviews conducted by the investigative unit, which are audio recorded, there is not a single incident of any investigator raising his voice. No interviewee was at any time and in any way neither intimidated nor psychologically or physically attacked.
Release the tapes. Or maybe destroy them like the Bush era government did. The EPO’s words are without value as long as the EPO’s management, and especially its spokespeople, habitually lie if/when it suits them.
Interviews are conducted professionally and with the utmost level of respect for all parties. In the case discussed in the said broadcast, the staff member in question was never escorted by any member of the Investigative Unit to the interview room. He was invited to an interview as a witness and he joined the meeting unaccompanied after a delay of 20 minutes. The interview lasted 25 minutes.
See what the EPO is doing here? It targets and zooms in on the identity of people who wish to remain anonymous. If anything, this proves what the program claimed. There’s a culture of witch-hunting and whistleblowers are being cast/framed “liars” by all means possible. Victims are the predators now?
It was passed in a respectful atmosphere from both parties, and was concluded early, on request of the interviewee, to allow him to prepare for his meeting with the Central Staff Committee. It is after this later meeting with the Central Staff Committee, that the staff member in question reported that he was feeling unwell. He was permitted to leave work, and returned to work a few days later. For transparency reasons, the Investigative Unit would be willing to make the record of the interview available with the consent of the interviewee.
At this stage it’s rather clear who they are alluding to. And the alleged ‘crime’? Doing an independent staff survey about satisfaction (or lack thereof). It’s all about reputation. In an effort to guard his reputation, Battistelli now does the same thing as North Korea because he monopolises truth by elimination. Even family members are impacted by this (collective punishment).
The possibility to verify sick leave (control at home) has been an integral part of the EPO’s regulations for many years. The only significant change introduced in recent years is the possibility for the EPO to send a doctor to the staff member’s home to verify the sick leave claimed. When sick, staff members should therefore be at home between 10.00 and 12.00 hrs and between 14.00 and 16.00 hrs. In case a staff member is not at home e.g. for visiting his/her doctor, he/she must simply provide the Medical Advisory Unit with justification. Privacy is fully respected and nobody is obliged to grant access to his/her private home. On average, 14 verifications are conducted per year at the EPO (with regard to more than 6700 staff members, i.e. about 0.2% of total staff. This is done by all health insurance schemes). No EPO’s employee has ever been dismissed due to sickness or because of “too many sick leave days”. There is also no legal basis in the Service Regulations to do so.
We have evidence with which to refute this. The EPO relies on the TV channel’s staff having no access to such evidence. How convenient.
Confronted with such accusations and false information, it is important to us to provide the facts behind decisions and events that were mentioned in the broadcast, so that each one of you can judge for him/her self the content of the broadcast and question the real motivation of the few employees who have taken the responsibility to participate in such a defamatory and damaging campaign against the Office. All necessary steps to obtain the repair of the damages are considered.
Is the EPO considering legal action? They seem to have sent such letters to German names (German media we assume) before. We still have some stories in the pipeline about German media and EPO meddling. Are they going to demand ‘corrective’ reporting, an ‘apology’ (a forced one of extracted by pressure), or something along those lines? Whatever it is, be prepared for the nastiness of Team Battistelli to shine through.
We will do even more work on disseminating the program (locally-hosted videos) in the coming days, in order to ensure nothing can take it down, not even EPO legal threats against SUEPO Munich, which uploaded videos to YouTube. The harder they try to suppress the truth, the wider it’ll spread. The fools who advise Battistelli obviously don’t understand how the Streisand Effect works. █