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What is going on in Italy – Safety Net Ossigeno – 18th – 24th April 2014

The twelfth of 48 weekly reports created with the support of the European Union and distributed in eleven countries to promote a common understanding

Safety Net Ossigeno – Weekly Report 18th – 24th April 2014
What happened in Italy: threatened journalists and obscured news

The most alarming news of the week comes from Sicily: the journalist Paolo Borrometi, collaborator for the news agency AGI and editor of online newspaper La Spia, was attacked on April 16th at his home in the countryside near Modica, in the province of Ragusa, by two men with their faces covered with balaclavas. Two days before, he had participated to a TV show on RAI, along with the mother of a murdered man, urging investigators to uncover the perpetrators. The journalist had denounced the conspiracy of silence that covered the killers. He had already done so a few days before in an article.

New complaints confirm that this is the tool most widely used by politicians to react to the release of news that they do not like. Three journalists have been sued by politicians for defamation, and a fourth was denounced by the former president of the Ancona football club.

The judge of the Constitutional Court and former prime minister Giuliano Amato turned to the civil courts to claim damages of 500 thousand euros from the daily Il Fatto Quotidiano. Mr Amato claims to be the victim of a smear campaign carried out against him through the publication of sixteen articles that reconstruct his career and explain his pension checks for having held various institutional positions.

Two journalists from the daily La Repubblica, Mr Antonio Fraschilla and Mr Emanuele Lauria, have been sued by Mr Antonio Fiumefreddo, Councillor for Culture of the Region of Sicily, for an article that recounts some expenses approved by him while holding a previous public office: that of superintendent of the Teatro Massimo Bellini of Catania.

Mr Roberto Formigoni, former president of the Lombardy Region and current senator of the New Centre Right party (NCD), has contested the claims made by the journalist Pietro Gomez, editor of fattoquotidiano.it, during the April 16th episode of the TV show La Gabbia (broadcast on LA7), announcing that he intends to file a complaint for defamation.

Mr Ermanno Pieroni, former president of the Ancona football club, announced that he has sued for defamation and private violence the editor of the TV show Le Iene, broadcast on Italia 1, and his envoy, Pablo Trincia, for a report aired on February 12th that spoke of debts accumulated by the Riccione football club, which plays in the Serie D (4th division).

CLOSING DOWN L’ORA DELLA CALABRIA – Publication of the daily have been discontinued on April 23rd. The daily entered into a severe debt crisis after the editor, last February, denounced the pressures to censor the news of the involvement of the son of the Senator Antonio Gentile in certain criminal investigations. On the same day, it was not possible to print the newspaper with the contested article due to a sudden breakdown of the printing presses, which is being investigated by the judiciary.

ACQUITTAL – A judgment confirms that in Italy it takes years to conclude a trial for defamation by recognizing the freedom to report. Only now the journalists Mr Roberto Voi and Ms Lina Carpinteri from the broadcaster Tele Nova were acquitted of libel filed by the former mayor of Ragusa, Mr Nello Dipasquale, for some articles published in 2009 and 2010.

Sicily. Journalist complains of silence, is assaulted in Modica

Paolo Borrometi was attacked in his country home. “Silence is mafia”, he said a few days before on the TV show I Fatti Tuoi broadcast on RAI 2, while commenting a murder.

The journalist Mr Paolo Borrometi, collaborator of the agency AGI and editor of the online newspaper La Spia, was beaten on April 16th in his country house nea Modica, in the Ragusa province, by two men who had their faces covered by balaclavas. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Complaints. Giuliano Amato claims 500 thousand euros in damages from Il Fatto Quotidiano

The former prime minister complains of a smear campaign rolled out through sixteen articles in which his career was reconstructed and his many assignments and golden retirement have been recalled.

The judge of the Constitutional Court and former Prime Minister Mr Giuliano Amato filed a claim for damages in the civil courts of 500 thousand euros against the newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano: it was the same newspaper to announce it on April 22nd. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Sicily. Councillor resigns and files lawsuit against La Repubblica

On April 15th, Mr Antonio Fiumefreddo, a Sicilian lawyer and Councillor for the Cultural Heritage of the Sicilian Region, announced a lawsuit against the journalists of the newspaper La Repubblica Mr Antonio Fraschilla and Mr Emanuele Lauria, authors of an article published on the same day on expenses he endorsed when holding a previous public post, that of superintendent of the Teatro Massimo Bellini of Catania. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Complaints. Clash Formigoni-Gomez. The politician: “You will pay”

During the April 16th episode of the TV show La Gabbia (broadcast on LA7), Roberto Formigoni, former president of the Lombardy Region and current senator of the New Centre Right party (NCD), has hinted to the editor of fattoquotidiano.it Mr Peter Gomez that he will sue him for defamation. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Complaints. TV show Le Iene sued by former president of Ancona football club

Mr Ermanno Pieroni, former president of the Ancona football club, announced that he has sued for defamation and private violence to the prosecution of Ascoli Piceno, the TV show Le Iene, and broadcast on Italia 1, and it envoy Pablo Trincia, following a report aired on February 12th. (continua a leggere in italiano)

L’Ora della Calabria. Liquidator shuts down newspaper and website

The publications of the newspaper have stopped. In February, the episode of the block of the printing presses is still unclear. The Order of Journalists: “Disconcerting, violation of trade union rights”.

After the complaint, in February, of the received pressures for censoring an article about the son of the senator Antonio Gentile, on the same day, the printing presses were blocked (an episode still being investigated by the judiciary). Now the newspaper L’Ora della Calabria is closing. (continua a leggere in italiano)

L’Ora della Calabria: publications stop

The daily L’Ora della Calabria, from April 23rd is no longer on newsstands, following the announcement in recent days of the cessation of publications by order of the liquidator Mr Giuseppe Bilotta. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Ragusa. Journalists from Tele Nova acquitted of complaints from former mayor

The journalists Mr Roberto Voi and Ms Lina Carpinteri from the broadcaster Tele Nova were acquitted of libel charges filed by the former mayor of Ragusa Mr Nello Dipasquale. (continua a leggere in italiano)

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