Defamation. 40 Mafia victims express solidarity with Rino Giacalone
They ask for the complaint of the widow of the boss Mr Mariano Agate to be archived, since it portends to defend a good reputation that does not exist
Forty relatives of the Mafia victims have released an open letter in which they declare solidarity with the Sicilian journalist Mr Rino Giacalone, sued for libel by the widow of the boss Mr Mariano Agate, who died on April 3rd, 2013 while serving a life sentence having been fund guilty for the Capaci massacre and the murder of other seven people, including those of the judge Mr Giangiacomo Ciaccio Montalto.
The petitioners are asking the widow of boss from Mazara del Vallo to withdraw the lawsuit and to step away from her husband’s criminal enterprises. They also ask the Magistrate to reject the “seeming defence of a non-existent reputation, which is an attempt to abuse justice and address intimidating messages to Mr Rino Giacalone and all those journalists who, like him, step against the general indifference and have the courage to remember the atrocious crimes of which some people are stained, and to say that the so-called men of honour, in reality, have no honour at all.” Ms Margherita Asta is the first public signatory of the appeal signed by, among others by Mr Nando Dalla Chiesa, Mr Salvatore Borsellino, Mr Franco La Torre, Ms Carla and Maddalena Rostagno, Ms Marene Ciaccio Montalto, Mr Alberto Spampinato.
This is the text of the appeal:
We family members of victims of the Mafia manifest astonishment and indignation for the last paradoxical performance by people related to the world of the Cosa Nostra. We refer to the decision of Ms Rosa Pace, widow of the well-known mafia boss Mr Mariano Agate, who died April 3rd, 2013, and which, by suing for libel the journalist Mr Rino Giacalone, purports to protect the good reputation of her husband, a convicted felon in various life sentences for his grim crimes involving inhuman acts of violence.
The lawsuit refers to an article in which the journalist, having summarized the boss’s career, expressed with colourful everyday words the contempt we all feel for his bloody enterprise.
The incriminating phrase by Rino Giacalone that caused the offence is the following: “The massacres of Falcone and Borsellino, those of Rome, Milan and Florence, all bear his signature, as well as the most violent mafia wars between Trapani and Palermo. Today we must say that his death removed from Sicily the presence of ‘a great piece of shit’.”
The phrase is strong, it is not elegant, but it can not be regarded as offensive, since it expresses an opinion based on the facts and the law. How can it damage the reputation of a criminal convicted of grim murders and true barbarity? A man to whom the bishop of Mazara del Vallo, Bishop Mogavero, refused the religious funeral, thereby attracting by the same Ms Rosa Pace the charges of “waging a justice propaganda” that uses her family as “cannon fodder”?
Instead of taking offense, Ms Rosa Pace should try and put herself in our shoes, in the shoes of the victims’ families. These families, not hers, have the right to complain that they have been unfairly turned into cannon fodder, as cannon fodder have been those men, women and children torn from life by that boss, some because they faithfully served the State, others because they were randomly in places where violence was planned. May Ms Pace have the dignity to distance herself from the criminal enterprises of the husband and withdraw this lawsuit that offends us. If she does not, let the judiciary prove that there is a fair, prompt and pristine justice. Let it prove it immediately by filing this claim of defence of a non-existent good reputation, which is an attempt to abuse justice and address intimidating messages to Mr Rino Giacalone and all those journalists who, like him, step against the general indifference and have the courage to remember the atrocious crimes of which some people are stained, and to say that the so-called men of honour, in reality, have no honour at all.”
Signed: Margherita Asta, Francesco Bommarito, Anita Bonfiglio, Lucia Calì, Gabriella Carfora, Antonio Castelbuono, Maria Irene Ciaccio Montalto, Nando dalla Chiesa, Ferdinando Domè, Fabrizio Famà, Pino Fazio, Marisa Fiorani, Chiara Frazzetto, Michele Giordano, Teresa Giordano, Franco La Torre, Salvatore La Porta, Teresa Lacovara, Paolo Marcone, Viviana Matrangola, Angelo Mizzi, Matilde Montinaro, Filippo Palmeri, Michele Panunzio, Mariacarmela Rechichi, Liliana Riccobene, Carla Rostagno, Alberto Spampinato, Alessandro Tedesco, Piera Tramuta, Salvatore Borsellino, Maddalena Rostagno, Mario Catalano, Flavia Famà, Mara Fonti, Piero Invidia, Daniela Marcone, Federica Montalto, Annarita Rechichi. Claudio Fava.