Reason for Police Protection to Journalist Mr. Tizian Revealed: ‘Ndrangheta Wanted to Kill Him
BOLOGNA – “He shuts up or I’ll shoot him in the mouth”, these were the recorded words of Mr. Guido Torello, a piedmontese wheeler-dealer, speaking to Mr. Nicola Femia, a ‘ndrangheta boss arrested on 23 January 2013. After having heard those words at the end of 2011, the judiciary assigned police protection to the journalist Mr. Giovanni Tizian, who was then collaborating with the Gazzetta di Modena.
The true reason wasn’t known so far. But the daily La Repubblica revealed it in an article that referred to the content of tapped recordings made during operation ‘Slot machine’, which allowed the Guardia di Finanza (Financial Police) of Bologna to uncover a racket of slot machines and rigged online video games in and around Modena managed by members of the ‘ndrangheta.
The investigation has led to the arrest of 29 people on charges of conspiracy, and the seizure of goods for more than €90 million. Now the prosecutor in Bologna will use the Court of Review so as to also press charges of association to the mafia.
The name of the journalist – who is currently co-working with the weekly L’Espresso and the daily La Repubblica, as well as the Gazzetta di Modena – was made during a phone call on December 19, 2011 between Mr. Nicola Femia, suspected of being the leader who ran the illegal racket of slot machines, and the entrepreneur Mr. Guido Torello, both subsequently arrested. La Repubblica published that in the tapped recordings Mr. Femia complained of some articles written by Mr. Tizian, who in the Modenese newspaper exposed alleged links between the man and the ‘ndrangheta. Mr. Torello’s dry reply urging for the reporter’s assassination was what moved Bologna’s judiciary to assign police protection to the journalist.
There have been thousands of statements and messages of solidarity to the reporter on the network and on all the media, from politicians, from government institutions and from colleagues.