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11.26.16

SLAPP-Happy EPO Vice-President Slapped Out of the Municipal Criminal Court in Zagreb for the Third Time!

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We recently received the following news from sources in Croatia, after Topić had lost the lawsuit for the second time (early this year)

Audi EPO

Summary: The latest in the Topić saga is more bad news for Topić, with potentially a lot more on the way

According to information received from reliable sources in Croatia, on November 21st at the Municipal Criminal Court in Zagreb a further round took place in the long-drawn out defamation lawsuit which Mr. Topić has been pursuing against a former Assistant Director of the SIPO.

“Mr. Topić was leading the prosecution as a private plaintiff.”The original lawsuit was filed as a private complaint on February 4th, 2011 which means that the Public Prosecutor was not responsible for the case. In other words, Mr. Topić was leading the prosecution as a private plaintiff.

The first round ended in January 2015 with a resounding defeat for Topić as the defendant was acquitted of all charges in the judgment of January 26, 2015 (file number 7.K-26/11).
At that time Topić was represented by Mr. Janjko Grlic from Gajski, Grlic, Prka and Partners, a leading Zagreb law firm with a lot of high-level political connections.

“At that time Topić was represented by Mr. Janjko Grlic from Gajski, Grlic, Prka and Partners, a leading Zagreb law firm with a lot of high-level political connections.”It seems that Topić filed an appeal against this judgment and tried to have the case sent back to a different judge. The appeal court did not grant that request but sent the case back to the same judge for the correction of a number of minor formal errors in the original judgment concerning the paragraphs of criminal law which had been cited. Some confusion seems to have arisen here because there had been amendments of the criminal law between the filing of the complaint in February 2011 and the passing of the judgment in January 2015.

The case went back to the same judge (Marijan Bertalanić) at the Municipal Criminal Court for a second round, this time with the file number 7.K-586/15.

In the meantime Topić had switched his attorney and was now represented by another prominent Zagreb lawyer Branko Šeric.
.

“In the meantime Topić had switched his attorney and was now represented by another prominent Zagreb lawyer Branko Šeric.”At a hearing which took place on January 14, 2016 neither Mr. Topić nor his lawyer showed up in court.

The judge decided to discontinue the proceedings.

“But this seems to have been a deliberate strategic move on the part of Topić to delay the proceedings.”It may seem like strange behavior on the part of a private prosecutor not to show up in court to prosecute the lawsuit he has filed himself. But this seems to have been a deliberate strategic move on the part of Topić to delay the proceedings.

Afterwards Topić filed an appeal against the decision to discontinue the proceedings and the case was reopened before the same judge at the Municipal Criminal Court.

Round three took place during a hearing held on November 21st.

Once again Topić had switched his representative and was now represented by another attorney.

“The judge seems to have finally lost patience with Topić’s time-wasting tactics because he closed the case by adjourning the hearing indefinitely and noting that the statute of limitations was due to expire on the following day.”Although he had been duly summoned to appear as a witness Topić failed to turn up in court and apparently did not even acknowledge the summons. His attorney claimed that his absence was due to “urgent business” which had prevented him from attending.

The judge seems to have finally lost patience with Topić’s time-wasting tactics because he closed the case by adjourning the hearing indefinitely and noting that the statute of limitations was due to expire on the following day.

For the moment, only the official minutes of the hearing are available but there may be a more detailed judgment issued later on. Sources in Zagreb have indicated that the final judgment of the Municipal Criminal Court may be published on the Internet.

A redacted copy of the minutes is available to us [PDF] with a translation in English below.

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

File number: 7. K-586/15

MINUTES
of 21 November 2016
the discussion held at the Municipal Criminal Court in Zagreb

Present for the Court:
Marijan Bertalanić
Presiding Judge – Judge

Ankica Zorić
Registrar

Criminal case:
Private prosecutor: Ž. T.

DEFENDANT: V. S.
For the criminal offence pursuant to
Article 200/2 et alia of the Criminal Code

The President of the Council – the judge opens the session at 11.45 hours and announces the subject of the main debate.

The presence of the parties is established as follows:

1. For the private prosecutor – nobody, legal representative of the private prosecutor, *****
2. Injured party:
3. Defendant: V. S. legal representative of the defendant, attorney-at-law ******
4. Witnesses:

It is established that the witness Ž. T., for whom a summons to his address in Germany has not been acknowledged, failed to appear. His legal representative submits for the file a certificate from which it follows that the private prosecutor was unable to attend today’s hearing due to urgent business.

The Judge delivers the following

Decision

There will be a debate. Due to the passage of time the debate is re-opened anew.

The identity of the defendant is established.

Defendant V.S., personal data as in the minutes of 4th February 2013.

The debate begins with a reading of the private complaint.

The defendant states that she understands the charges and will be defended in the presence of her chosen defence counsel.


- 2 -

Invited to make a statement on the merits of the private complaint she states: I do not consider myself guilty of the offences with which I am charged.

The Judge calls on the parties to submit their evidence.

The legal representative of the private prosecutor proposes once again a direct examination of the private prosecutor Ž. T. at the hearing, also suggests that the minutes of the previous examination of the already heard witness be read at the hearing, and no further evidence.

The counsel for the defence states that she does not oppose the evidentiary proposals on behalf of the prosecution.

Since the parties were not in agreement following the reading of the minutes of the previous examination of the private prosecutor Ž. T. as a witness,

the Judge delivers the following

Decision

Today’s debate will be adjourned, and no further hearing will be scheduled since on 22nd November 2016 statute of limitations for a criminal prosecution takes effect.

Completed at 11.55 hours.

Judge

Clerk

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