from the paranoid-much? dept
The latest, however, involves a few more crazy scandals, including accused attempts to sneakily set up WIPO offices in both Russia and China and (even more bizarre) trying to surreptitiously collect DNA samples on employees he was convinced were sending anonymous letters. First, the DNA situation:
Among them, an embarrassing case involving DNA sampling. Prior to his election, Francis Gurry had been the target of anonymous letters. Convinced that the letters’ authors were among those within his entourage, the successor of Kamil Idris filed a complaint with the prosecutor in Geneva in October 2007 and surprisingly authorized the police to enter WIPO’s premises to take statements and DNA samples. But the suspected employees later discovered that additional samples had been taken from their offices without their consent and thus illegally. On November 13, an ex-employee – who was made redundant after a corruption allegation of which he has since been cleared – filed a criminal complaint for “slander” with the prosecutor of Geneva. His lawyer sent a letter to the representatives of the Member States informing them that this procedure would require them to vote to lift Francis Gurry’s diplomatic immunity.Given all of this, many are questioning why Gurry should be allowed to stay in charge of WIPO. A bunch of Congressional Representatives had raised some concerns about Gurry about a month ago, but with this latest story, they've sent another letter to Secretary of State John Kerry expressing their serious concerns about allowing Gurry to continue to lead WIPO:
As you may recall, concerns were expressed following reports that Mr. Gurry was running a secret program to ship high-end computers and other electronic gear to North Korea and Iran. When called to account, he claimed that U.S. law did not constrain him, and he refused to cooperate with an investigation by the House Foreign Affairs Committee.Yikes. It would seem that WIPO is quite a disaster currently. That's not to say that a new leader would necessarily be any better, but it would appear that the series of scandals around Gurry, many of which include incredibly serious charges, raises all sorts of questions about WIPO under his leadership.
Since the time of that letter, the situation at WIPO has substantially deteriorated. As you know, the recent annual meeting of Member States collapsed due to the revelation of secret agreements made by Gurry to open satellite WIPO offices in China and Russia -- we understand that he even proposed opening an office in Tehran.
But even more disturbing, we understand Gurry is involved in a scheme to illegally acquire DNA samples of WIPO employees in a failed effort to develop evidence to support a personal complaint that he had filed with the Swiss authorities. There is also concern that he has been working since to suppress this information and to prevent any independent investigation of it.