Magistrate in Palermo archives boss’s son lawsuit
Mr Vincenzo Ercolano, brother of the killer of Mr Pippo Fava, had denounced the journalists Mr Condorelli and Mr Musarra. The magistrate: “the article respects the truth of the facts”
The magistrate for the preliminary investigation of Palermo has ordered the archiving of the lawsuit for defamation, brought forward by Mr Vincenzo Ercolano, son of the powerful boss Mr Pippo Ercolano and brother of Mr Aldo, one of the killers of Mr Pippo Fava, against the journalists Mr Antonio Condorelli and Mr Alfio Musarra and the editor responsible for the monthly Mr Francesco Foresta.
Mr Ercolano had filed a complained following the publication of an inquiry in October 2012 titled “On the brink of a mafia war” (Sull’orlo di una guerra di mafia) in which the journalists reconstructed the structure of criminal power in the city of Catania.
A lawsuit that Mr Condorelli defines as “totally unfounded. The fact is that the Ercolano family do not want you to talk about their business or the fortunes of the young scions like Vincenzo, who took over the reins of real and tangible economic realities. A journalist who does his job is a nuisance, especially when one part of the information world has proven obsequious to the overwhelming power of the bosses. The Ercolanos have silenced Mr Pippo Fava by killing him. The boss Uncle Pippo Ercolano showed himself up in the newsroom of La Sicilia, edited by Mr Mario Ciancio, and reprimanding a reporter who was supposedly guilty of having defined him as a “mafioso”. Mr Enzo Ercolano – Mr Condorelli insists – could not reproach us and so he sued.”
THE INVESTIGATION – In outlining the map of power in Catania, the two reporters mentioned among others Mr Vincenzo Ercolano, scion of the family related to the Santapaolas, the undisputed boss in town.
In the investigation there were mentions to the condemnations inflicted against Mr Pippo Ercolano, it remembered the story of Mr Aldo Ercolano, the killer of the journalist Mr Pippo Fava, alongside the economic rise of Vincenzo Ercolano.
According to what has been reported, Mr Ercolano is today at the helm of a quite real economic empire, with interests of millions of euros in the hauling services, in the provision of public funds, and in the quarries sector. An empire inherited from the family from which, as Condorelli observes, “he also inherited the business acumen. Vincenzo Ercolano and other bosses’ sons manage the economic power of the families, despite not having the judicial stamp of mafioso, in a context where the big names of the underworld do not need threats to excel in business: their prestige is enough. And this happens in a city where for a young man it is almost impossible to create an enterprise.”
A even more insidious control and dominance, “because unlike the fathers, this new mafia generation cannot be classified in the classical sense. Ercolano, among other things, was investigated and later acquitted of criminal association for a story tied to the hauling business in which also the terrible Casalesi clan was involved.”
THE ARCHIVING – In the procedure followed for the request of archiving the case, the public prosecutor Ms Claudia Ferrari points out that the article “respects the limits of objective truth of the reported news, of the public interest in having knowledge of the fact and of the formal correctness of exposition.”.
Vincenzo Ercolano “believes that the news reported within the article – as can be read in the measure – produce an injury to his reputation, achieved through insinuation and juxtaposition of the same to other people in his household, recognizing the desire to overshadow his involvement in the Mafia family of which his relatives are accused of belonging to”.
However, as the judge noted, “the fact that the plaintiff’s father had been recently arrested for Mafia association, makes the produced information relevant and current”. And also “the link appears to be relevant because the plaintiff was in turn subjected to a criminal prosecution for the same offense (criminal association to the Mafia)”.
With these reasons the criminal proceedings against the journalists were subsequently archived by the judge for the preliminary investigations.