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Venetian rebels for independence. Indicted journalist speaks

Mr Gianluca Marchi, editor of the online newspaper L’Indipendenza, has been accused of subversive activities. His home was searched. A computer seized and then returned

Mr Gianluca Marchi, editor of the online newspaper L’Indipendenza, is among 51 suspects under investigation by the prosecution of Brescia that led to the arrest, on April 3rd of 24 people, subsequently released. He is accused, as the other defendants, of terrorist association and subversion of the democratic order. He defends himself by saying to have had contact with the other suspects only because he was a journalist. On the morning of April 2nd, 2014, his home in Milan, in Via Principe Eugenio, was searched and his computer was seized. Then the Court of Appeals overturned the seizure of the computer and returned it to the journalist.

As can be read on its website, L’Independenza is a cultural association with the goal of promoting “the principles of independence of the peoples […] gathered under the yoke of the Italian central state”. According to the prosecution, the suspects are members of the secessionist association L’Alleanza, based in Brescia and whose aim is to carry out violent acts in order to obtain the independence of the Veneto.

“I never joined L’Alleanza. I was contacted by the group – as Mr Marchi tells Ossigeno – since I was a journalist and I have met the members of the association three times between July and September 2013, to talk about non-violent demonstrations, which eventually did not take place but where supposed to be covered by a journalist. With me they never talked about guns.”

According to prosecutors, L’Alleanza included various separatist movements and planned an invasion of the Piazza San Marco in Venice with a rudimentary tank. Weapons and ammunition were found during the searches made by the ROS unit (Carabinieri special forces) in the homes of some members of the group .

“The police – Mr Marchi adds – broke into my house. They were looking for weapons, ammunition, maps and other material tied to the investigation, but have did find anything. They confiscated my computer because it was the only thing that could not be controlled at on the spot”.

Members of the group supposedly asked the journalist to help them find funds and media contacts. Mr Marchi explains that Mr Giancarlo Orini, considered by the investigators to be one of the founders of L’Alleanza, asked him to look for resources for the association. “It was a few thousand euros. I spoke about it with Roberto Bernardelli (a businessman among the 24 arrested), and the two eventually agreed to meet. My participation was limited to this episode – Mr Marchi concluded – and in fact in my paper there is not a word on the actions that, according to the prosecutor, Alliance would have liked to carry on.”

FD

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