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What is going on in Italy – Safety Net Ossigeno – 9th – 15th May, 2014

The fifteenth of the 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 9th – 15th, May 2014

What happened in Italy: threatened journalists and obscured news

Going to interview the mayor of a small town who had his car burnt, then return to the parking lot and find your own car intentionally scratched, with damages worth a thousand euros: it means receiving a warning, a clear intimidation. It means: be careful what you do and what you write. It happened on May 13th to the journalist Mr Alessandro Chiappetta from the daily Quotidiano della Calabria sent sent to report from the town of Marano Marchesano, near Cosenza. This and other incidents, including assaults and complaints that appear excessive or completely specious show in which climate of intolerance many Italian journalists carry on with their work.

ASSAULT – In Pompeii (near Naples) on April, 25th the journalist Luca Bertazzoni, reporter for the investigative TV show Servizio Pubblico, was attacked and threatened, along with the crew, by the owner of a restaurant in which the reporter started asking about the regularity of the license for having a private enterprise in such a space. The journalist was hit in the neck by the father of the restaurateur and threatened to be killed.

COMPLAINTS – Ms Marilena Natale, crime editor for the Gazzetta di Caserta and +N, an all-news local television channel in the Campania region, who had already received complaints and assaults in the past, was sued by Ms Silvana Riccio, prefectural commissioner of the City Council of Casal di Prince, a town whose administration was deposed by the central government due to mafia infiltration. The reporter had criticized the decision to pay €60.000 for a legal consultancy. The Prefectural Commissioner reacted by calling for libel.

Mr Matteo Marini, a 21 years old student in Rome, who is collaborating with some newspapers, has reconstructed in an article the careers of the directors of the Roads Company of the Lazio region (ASTRAL), by comparing their curricula with the qualifications required from executives of public companies. The director of the company reacted with two libel suits.

The city council of Lissone, in the province of Monza-Brianza, is suing for libel the envoy from the TV show Le Iene Mr Matteo Viviani and the broadcaster RTI (a Mediaset Group company with the management license of the Italia Uno television channel), for a news report aired on February 5th. The report tells the story of two minors disputed by their parents through interviews and comments. The mayor claims that his quotes have been cut a arranged in such a way to transform the meaning of his thoughts.

Mr Antonio Speziale, detained for the murder of the police commissioner Mr Filippo Raciti in 2007 outside the stadium in Catania during clashes between hooligans and security forces, has sued the presenter of the TV show L’Arena, Mr Massimo Giletti, broadcast on Rai Uno, for having falsely claimed during the episode of May 5th that Speziale had confessed.

CORRECTIONS AND LAWSUITS – The trial which will begin in Perugia on May 22nd against the journalist Mr Pietro Mancini, and the former editor of the same newspaper, Mr Valter Lavitola, proves the scarce remedial value of reparations. The two stand accused of libel by the magistrate Mr Alberto Cisterna, who is asking for a compensation of 140 thousand euros. Mancini has promptly admitted to having committed a serious error through an open opinion column published in 2011 on the newspaper L’Avanti!, in which a rectification was provided together with his apologies. The magistrate did not withdraw the lawsuit and pushed for a request for damages.

SENTENCED – Mr Alessandro Sallusti, editor of the newspaper Il Giornale, was sentenced by the Court of Milan to pay €90,0000 in compensations to the president of the publishing group L’Espresso, Mr Carlo De Benedetti, for the contents of two reviews published three years ago, and deemed defamatory.

THREATS – The prosecutor of Reggio Calabria, Mr Federico Cafiero de Raho, explained why the threats heard during the “Spartacus” trial from the powerful Casalesi clan bosses, Mr Antonio Iovine and Mr Francesco Bidognetti, against the writer Mr Roberto Saviano and the journalist Ms Rosaria Capacchione, were deemed very serious in 2008. The threats were contained in the text of a request read in court by the bosses’ lawyer, Mr Michele Santonastaso. The prosecutor testified at the trial born from the threats.

ACQUITTAL – Mr Marco Fraceti, president of the Anti-Mafia Observatory “Peppino Impastato” was sued in 2013 by Mr Anton Giulio Rognoni, then director general of Infrastrutture Lombarde, who had called him into question from a book revealing the corruption in procurement tenders. Subsequently, in the course of the procurement for Expo 2015, the manager was arrested for corruption. The trial for libel was completed in Monza with a judgment of acquittal because “the crime does not exist”.


Calabria. Reporter of the Quotidiano’s car damaged.
It happened to Alessandro Chiappetta, sent to the town of Marano Marchesano (near Cosenza), while interviewing the mayor who days ago had his car burned.
He entered the town, parked his car in the street and went to interview the mayor, to ask him why last week his car was burned. An hour later he returned to the parking lot and found a long, deep scratch on the bodywork of his car, from the hood to the passenger door. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Pompeii. Journalist and crew from TV show Servizio Pubblico assaulted and threatened
The owner of an abusive venue in Pompeii intimidated Mr Luca Bertazzoni on April 25th. “I did not expect such a reaction” Luca Bertazzoni said.
The journalist was attacked and threatened, along side his troupe from the TV show Servizio Pubblico, by the owner of an illegal restaurant near Pompeii (Naples). It happened on April 25th. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Casal di Principe. Reporter criticizes Police Commissioner is sued.
Ms Marilena Natale criticized the payment of €60’000 in legal advice from the city council dissolved for mafia, when the township is suffering from draught due to the drying up of the artesian wells.
Ms Marilena Natale, crime reporter for the Gazzetta di Caserta and +N, a local all-news television channel, was sued. She had, in the past, already been the object of other complaints and assaults. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Lazio. Astral manager files lawsuit against collaborator of Romapost
The CEO responsible for the company for the upkeep of the road network in the Lazio region sued for defamation Mr Matteo Marini, who had reconstructed his and other executives’ careers by analyzing their curricula.
Matteo Marini, a 21 years-old student in Rome, working with several newspapers and awaiting to be registered with the Association of Journalists, was notified with two complaints submitted by Mr Antonio Mallamo, director of ASTRAL, the roads company of the Lazio region (ASTRAL). (continua a leggere in italiano)

“Smear interview”. City council of Lissone files lawsuit against the TV show Le Iene
The case stems from a report on the story of two children being fought over by their parents. The mayor complains of selective quoting, altering his opinion on the matter.
The city council of the town of Lissone, in the province of Monza-Brianza, gave mandate on April 16th to the mayor Ms Concetta Monguzzi to sue the interviewer of the TV show Le Iene Mr Matteo Viviani, RTI SpA (the Mediaset group company licensed for broadcasting the Italia Uno television channel), and every other possible responsibility for the episode of the show aired on February 5th, and during which a thirty-minute report dealt with the story of two children whose custody was being disputed. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Detained for the Raciti murder files lawsuit against Massimo Giletti
The popular TV show host had said that Mr Antonio Speziale had confessed his crime. The Catania hooligan thought himself defamed since he has always professed innocence.
During the episode of the TV show L’Arena on Sunday, May 4th aired on Rai Uno, Mr Massimo Giletti said on the air that the Catania hooligan Mr Antonio Speziale had confessed to the murder of the police Commissioner Mr Filippo Raciti, who was killed in 2007 outside the stadium in Catania during a clash between hooligans and security forces. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Defamation. Trial of the journalist sued by Magistrate
Mr Pietro Mancini has admitted to having made ​​a mistake, has rectified and then apologized. But the magistrate did not withdraw the lawsuit and has pressed for damage compensation.
Despite a correction and two letters of apology for a serious error contained in a commentary published in the newspaper L’Avanti! in 2011, the journalist Mr Pietro Mancini and the former editor of the paper, Mr Valter Lavitola, will incur a lawsuit for libel brought forward by the prosecutor Mr Alberto Cisterna, who has demanded a damage compensation for €140,000. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Defamation. Sallusti ordered to pay De Benedetti
The civil court in Milan ruled that the editor of Il Giornale will have to pay €90,000 for two open editorials written three years ago.
The first-instance judgment of Saturday last, refers to two editorials Mr Sallusti published on the first page of Il Giornale on the 6th and 7th February 2011, with the titles, respectively, of “The Godfather” (accompanied by photos of the entrepreneur) and “De Benedetti in Milan, an €800 million appearance”. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Threats to Saviano and Capacchione. De Raho testifies at the trial.
The magistrate said that the period of terror and massacres of the Casalesi clan had started after those intimidations during the “Spartacus” trial.
The prosecutor of Reggio Calabria Mr Federico Cafiero de Raho testified on May 5th in Naples in the trial on threats from the camorra bosses Mr Antonio Iovine and Mr Francesco Bidognetti against the writer Mr Roberto Saviano and the journalist Ms Rosaria Capacchione. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Monza. Defamation. Acquitted president of Anti-Mafia Observatory.
For his book Briàngheta, Mr Marco Fraceti was sued by Mr Anton Giulio Rognoni, former manager of Infrastrutture Lombarde and later arrested for procurement corruption at the Milan Expo.
Acquitted because the crime does not exist. This was the conclusion in Monza of the trial for libel against Mr Marco Fraceti, the author of Briàngheta, a book-report on the Mafia in the Brianza region. (continua a leggere in italiano)


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