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From Alleged Organised Crime to Vice-President of the European Patent Office (EPO)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Lawlessness is in Team Battistelli’s blood

EPO Three Stooges

Summary: Željko Topić’s situation in Croatia illuminated by means of recent documents from the authorities

OVER the weekend while we were away on holiday and the EPO struggled to digest the news about 'Brexit' (as did we, but for other reasons) someone sent us an update from Croatia. It’s not looking any better for Battistelli’s ‘bulldog’ (not to be confused with ‘lapdog’ or ‘his master’s voice’, Mr. Kongstad).

“The various criminal complaints filed against Željko Topić and others,” told us a source, “have been spread among a number of public prosecutor bodies in Zagreb and elsewhere (Municipal State Attorney’s Office, County State Attorney’s Office etc.).

“This seems to have led to a lack of coordination and delay in progress with processing of the complaints.

“According to what I have understood, the main public prosecutor is now trying to sort out the matter and has been sending letters to some of the other public prosecutors in an attempt to improve the coordination and deal with various issues that have been festering for many years now.

“I managed to get my hands on a redacted copy of one these letters which is dated June 10th.”

Here is the original letter.

Croatia June 10th document

A rough English translation is included below.

Office of the County State Attorney in …

File No.: …
Zagreb, 10 June 2016

To the County State Attorney in …

Re the file no.: …

Referring to your letter of 11 May 2016 re the above case in which you have submitted an assessment and opinion of the criminal complaint of V.S. of 9 January 2013, filed against Z. T. and SM in connection with the criminal acts of illegal changes in the structure of state administration under Article 320 of the Criminal Code / 97, abuse of office under Article 337, paragraph 2 of the Criminal Code / 97, bribery under Article 348 para. 1 and 347 no. 1 of the Criminal law / 97 and negligent performance of duty under Article 339 of the Criminal code / 97, we draw your attention you, in this respect, to the criminal charges annexed to the file of the Office of the County State Attorney … number … given the fact that it concerns the same legal matter. Namely, in the indicated criminal case prior proceedings were conducted by this State Attorney’s Office concerning suspected irregularities in the actions of those responsible and officials of the State Intellectual Property Office, the Croatian Composers Society and the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Croatian and the Croatian Government, whose acts directly or indirectly damaged the State budget of the Republic of Croatia.

On the other hand, concerning the criminal offence of racial or other discrimination under Art. 174 para. 1 of the Criminal Law / 97 and violation of the right to work and other labor rights referred to in Art. 114 of the Criminal Code / 97, which alleged offences were committed to the detriment of the applicant V.S., bearing in mind that it is a criminal offence falling within the jurisdiction of the Office of the Municipal State Attorney, in this part, we return this criminal complaint to the competent procedure for a prosecutorial decision on the merits. In this regard, because it has been reported to you by the Zagreb Police Department, Department Criminal Investigation, Department of Economic Crime, that they are also linked to the findings on crimes carried out which have been notified to the Office of the County State Attorney in … under the file reference number …, we note that the aforementioned criminal case does not apply to the criminal complaint that was submitted by V.S. and that it was a mistake that the result of the police investigation was delivered under that file number, and at the same time that the competent lawyer Office of the Municipal State Attorney wasn’t informed about the result of the police investigation. Concerning the above, we informed the Zagreb Police Department, Criminal Police Department, Department of Economic Crime, which then with the special report of 1 June 2016 file no … submitted the results of criminal investigations relating to the crimes within the jurisdiction of the Office of the Municipal State Attorney and which we also enclose for you to use.

In addition, we enclose for you the submission of the applicant V.S., sent to the Office of the Municipal State Attorney in … electronically on 6 June 2016, which shows that the stated criminal charges are dealt with in other criminal cases of the Office of the Municipal State Attorney in …, and how to perform the review of the specified files to establish a possible connection with your criminal case.

Deputy County State Attorney
[Signature and official stamp]

as in the text

For notification to:
Zagreb Police Department, Criminal Police Department,
Department of Economic Crime, reference number …
V.S., Zagreb, …

“What is interesting here,” explains our source, “is the statement at the end of the first paragraph indicating that officials of the State Intellectual Property Office and others are under suspicion of having caused direct or indirect damage to the state budget of Croatia by their actions as detailed in the criminal complaints. If this line of inquiry is followed up by the public prosecutor then it seems quite likely that prosecutions could be initiated fairly soon.”

In the mean time someone sent us a further document which is dated 22nd of June, 2016 (even more recent). To quote a source that understands this better than we do, this is a document “which indicates that the public prosecutor has sent the results of the investigation in one case to the USKOK – the Croatian State Prosecutor’s Office for the Suppression of Organized Crime and Corruption – a department of the State Prosecutor’s Office that specialises in cases of corruption and organised crime.

“As far as I understand the current state of affairs the investigation report is now with the USKOK for a decision as to whether or not to initiate a prosecution. These developments come at an interesting time because according to information from the EPO, the renewal of a number of Vice-President appointments including VP4 (i.e. Mr. Topić) is on the agenda for next week’s Administrative Council meeting.”

We actually wrote about this before. Here is the original document:

Croatia June 22nd document

Here is an English translation:

Office of the County State Attorney in …

File No.: …

Zagreb, 22 June 2016

Dear …

As the submitter of a criminal complaint against Z.T. etc. in relation to unlawful conduct of the then director of the State Intellectual Property Office as well as other persons who are associated therewith, and whose acts directly or indirectly damaged the state budget of the Republic of Croatia, we inform you that the preliminary investigation in the criminal case has been completed, after which, according to the General Instructions on the Work of the Public Prosecutor and the USKOK for cases in which there are indications of corruption and organized crime number O-3/11 of 11 May 2011, the file has been submitted to the Office for Combating Corruption and Organized Crime (USKOK) for a prosecutorial decision concerning which you will be notified in writing.

Yours respectfully,

Deputy County State Attorney

[Signature and stamp]

Expect to learn more soon. If the Administrative Council continues to ignore issues such as the above, then that makes the delegates somewhat complicit. A few days remain to inform national delegates regarding Topić’s legal status.

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