Bonum Certa Men Certa

English Translation of Ruling Against Željko Topić (EPO VP) in Croatian Court

Judge Marijan Bertalanič Judge Marijan Bertalanič, photo from vecernji.hr



Summary: A look what what statements about EPO Vice-President Topić are deemed appropriate and true, as judged by a Croatian court

A WEEK AFTER Željko Topić had lost his case in his home country, Croatia, we finally got a translation of the ruling. Here it is in English, with formatting added in lieu with the original:



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

File ref. no.: 7. K-26/11



MINUTES of the public pronouncement of the verdict of 28 January 2015

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

(Members of Judicial Panel) Jasminka Popović (Registrar)

Criminal case: Plaintiff: private prosecutor Željko Topić Defendant: Vesna Stilin For the crime from the Article 200/2 and other of the Criminal Code

It has established that the following parties have been present: 1. Plaintiff: private prosecutor – no one, legal representative of the Party, attorney-at-law Tina ÄŒovo 2. Damaged party: 3. Defendant: no one, legal representative of the Party, attorney-at-law Zoran Životić 4. Witness: 5. Expert witness:

It has been established that neither the private plaintiff nor the defendant, who have been duly summoned, have attended today's hearing on the occasion of the public pronouncement of the Court’s decision

Pursuant to Article 356 para. 3 of the Criminal Procedure Code, this hearing for the purposes of the public pronouncement of the Court’s decision will be held in the absence of duly invited private plaintiff and the defendant.

The judge announces

IN THE NAME OF THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA THIS JUDGEMENT



The defendant STILIN Vesna, the daughter of Milan and Ruzica born Bekavac, born on April 21, 1954 in Zagreb, Zagreb, Biokovske stube 4, a citizen of the Republic of Croatia, holder of a diploma in law [LL.B.], married, with no children and no criminal record, is

ACQUITTED OF THE CHARGES



That she, as follows:

1. On 22 November 2010 in the letter sent to the Croatian Government, the Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor, which was also sent to the Croatian Parliament (deputy Bianca Matković) for information, as well as to the Minister of Economy, Labour and Entrepreneurship, the Minister of Science, Education and Sports, the Minister of Administration, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, the Minister of Culture and the Minister of Finance and Miljenko Pavlaković in HEP, in order to harm the reputation and honor of the private plaintiff by making false statements about him, among other things, stated:

- "Due to the manner in which Topić ignored the aforementioned problems, the writers have suffered financial damage because they should have been receiving compensation for the lending of their books in public libraries for at least the past two years."

- "Željko Topić bought his second term as the Director of the State Intellectual Property Office by paying approximately 500,000.00 HRK to the Ministry of Education and Sports (MZOS) during the period of over two years (from May 2007, when the agreement in question was signed, until July 2009, when Primorac left the Ministry), which I also mention, among other things, in the Constitutional complaint no.: U-III 5023/08, which is still sub judice, and where I have challenged Topic's appointment as the Director ... ..... in fact, I also submitted my nomination for the position of the director of the Office after this person, at the end of 2007, secretly ... abolished my department [of the State Intellectual Property Office] ... "

- "Topic’s decisions concerning procedures relating to PLR, which have caused the writers to suffer financial damage and which led to a serious violation of my right to work, at the same time meet the criteria of the criminal offence of “abuse of position and authority" and "negligent performance of duty" ... "

- That the financial resources of SIPO were used to pay for "the SIPO fleet of six luxury cars, including the supervision of the MZOS, and that he allowed himself to use, in addition to the Audi 6, also a new luxury E-class Mercedes which was hidden among the shelves in the archives in order to cover up the squandering of funds from the state budget."

- "Topić himself has for years provided falsified information about the number of officials working in my department (he claimed that there were twice as many officials working there compared to the actual count) to the Ministry of Administration which forwarded the received information to the Government of the Republic of Croatia"

- "... Because of Topić’s lies and incompetence, which he compensated for by bribery, and due to the lack of supervision, I am obliged to conduct this disgracefully long-drawn out procedure …"

- ".... That for years I have worked overtime managing the previously mentioned department and that I have never, unlike Topić and others, neither received nor asked for any financial compensation"

- "From the perspective of criminal law, Topić’s actions in this case meet the criteria of criminal offences: negligent performance of duty, abuse of office, abuse in performance of duties, discrimination, violation of the right to work and other labor rights and corruption ... "

- "If the supervisory bodies had conducted the due administrative control of the Office, i.e. of Mr. Topić, and criminally prosecuted him, he would have been dismissed from his position at the beginning of 2008. The announced reconstruction of the Government should also have entailed the dismissal of Mr. Topić, as the disclosure of this information in public would certainly harm the Government."

all of which affected the honor and reputation of the private plaintiff,

that is, in the described manner, she made a false claim which could damage the honor of the other person as the defamation became accessible to a large number of persons,

2. On 22 November 2010 in the letter sent to the Croatian Government, the Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor, which was also sent to the Croatian Parliament (deputy Bianca Matković) for information, as well as to the Minister of Economy, Labour and Entrepreneurship, the Minister of Science, Education and Sports, the Minister of Administration, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, the Minister of Culture and the Minister of Finance and Miljenko Pavlaković in HEP, in order to belittle and insult the private plaintiff, among other things she stated:

- "In the last conversation with Topić (April 2008) in response to my inquiry about what was going to happen with the PLR (due to my dismissal), Topic answered that it was my personal thing. It simply cannot be my personal thing and such a reaction is completely incompetent, which should not come as a surprise, as the person in question completed his education in another country (economist from Bosnia) and has never passed the professional state exam in Croatia",

which offended the private plaintiff,

that is, she offended the other person as described above due to the insult becoming accessible to a large number of persons,

and therefore, by acting in the previously described manner, she committed the crime against honor and reputation – by defamation - defined and punishable under Article 200 paragraph 2 of the CC 97, and partly under item 2 the criminal offense against honor and reputation - an insult - described and punishable under Article 199 paragraph 2 of the CC/97, all with the application of Article 60, paragraph 1 of the CC/97.

Pursuant to Article 143 paragraph 3 of the CPA/08 the private plaintiff is obliged to reimburse the costs of criminal proceedings from the Article 145 paragraph 2 points 1-6 of the CPA/08, all necessary expenses of the defendant and all the necessary expenses and the award of Defendant’s attorney.

The verdict was read in public and briefly explained verbally and the parties were informed of their right to appeal and the response to the appeal.

Completed at 10.50 hours.

Judge:

Registrar:



What's in italics above is most interesting because it shows what the Court deemed (and ruled) not defamatory. Hence, it is likely to be very accurate and it shows how corrupt Topić can get.

There is also a PDF with formatting [PDF].

Thanks to our Techrights contributors who translated the original text.

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