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What is going on in Italy – Safety Net Ossigeno – May, 16th – 22nd 2014

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

Safety Net Ossigeno – Weekly Report May 16th – 22nd 2014
What happened in Italy: threatened journalists and obscured news 

An accused of mafia association has used the courtroom when he was tried as a platform from which to threaten and rant against a journalist. He asked the judges (and not only to them, as it is implied) to punish the journalist who, with his news articles, by revealing his affairs and his connections, got him in trouble with the judiciary. It is not the first time this happens in Italy. It happened again in Bologna on May, 14th. The episode is all the more serious, since the accused already has to answer for his involvement in the death threats against the journalist Giovanni Tizian, who from December 2011 has been living under police protection following phone interceptions which threatened to shoot him in the mouth. Mr Tizian has received declarations of solidarity, but there has not been the wave of protests and indignation that should arouse such an arrogant claim of privacy by those who must answer in court for serious offenses reported by a journalist.

Another reason that brings the issue to the fore is relative to a development of a similar case from 2008: the threats against the writer Mr Roberto Saviano and the journalist Ms Rosaria Capacchione during a trial against the Casalesi clan of the Camorra. The threats were contained in a request that the lawyers Santonastaso and D’Aniello, defenders of the boss Bidognetti and Antonio Iovine, read in the courtroom. Six years later, on May 19th of this year, the public prosecutor of Naples Mr Antonello Ardituro asked for the sentence to one year and a half of imprisonment for two lawyers, Mr Michele Santonastaso and Mr Carmine D’Aniello, and the boss Francesco Bidognetti. Mr Saviano and Ms Capacchione live under permanent protection from the date on which those threats were made.

INSULTS – The well-known sports journalist Mr Enrico Varriale of RAI was publicly insulted by fans on May 18th at the stadium in Turin. During the Serie A match between Juventus and Cagliari, some fans displayed a banner with the inscription “Varriale Pig”. The audience reacted whistling in disapproval until the banner was lowered. One of the authors has been identified and reported.

DEFAMATION – On May 23rd in Trieste began the trial for libel at the expense of Mr Paolo Parovel, journalist and editor of La Voce di Trieste and member of the “Movement Free Trieste”, which proclaims the independence of the city from the ItalianState. The reporter is being sued by the city’s mayor, Mr Roberto Cosolini, for an article published in August 2013 in which administrators, judges and journalists are accused of misconduct, hinting at speculations over the area of ​​the OldPort.

ACQUITTAL – Ms Giulia Martorana, the journalist sentenced in the first degree to twenty days of arrest for refusing to reveal to the court the trustee of a news source, was acquitted on appeal from the court of Caltanissetta. The court of Enna had rigidly applied the rule that allows to uphold secrecy only to professional journalists and not to the “publicist journalists” like her.

ROSTAGNO CASE – The Court of Trapani sentenced to life imprisonment Mr Vito Mazzara and Mr Vincenzo Virga, held respectively as the perpetrator and the instigator of the murder of the journalist Mauro Rostagno, who was killed in 1988. It took 26 years to recognize the mafia crime reasons behind the journalist’s death, who denounced the intertwining of politics and the mafia in the province of Trapani.

RIGHT TO BE FORGOTTEN – The judgment with which on May, 13th the Court of Justice of the European Union has issued a landmark ruling on the subject of the right to be forgotten, according to which the search engines will have to remove, at the request of the interested parties (excluding public figures), links deemed “not relevant”, has opened a new scenario and raised a few questions.

New threats against Giovanni Tizian during the Femia trial
The accused Nicola Femia has been blocked by the court while inveighing against the journalist who filed a civil lawsuit.
It happened during a hearing of the Black Monkey trial, which was held on May 16th at the Court of Bologna. Nicola Femia, accused of mafia conspiracy to 14 months in jail custody, gave threatening statements against the journalist Giovanni Tizian, accusing him of being the cause of his troubles. (continua a leggere in italiano)

Threats against Saviano and Capacchione. Public Prosecutor asks convictions
Following the intimidations by the Casalesi, contained in a paper read in court in 2008, the prosecutor Ardituro says that are tantamount “to putting a person in front of a gun”.
The prosecutor of Naples, Mr Antonello Ardituro, on May 19th asked the sentencing to a year and a half in prison for Michele Santonastaso, Carmine D’Aniello and Francesco Bidognetti, defendants in the trial for threats issued to the writer Roberto Saviano and the journalist Rosaria Capacchione.(continua a leggere in italiano)

What to do if the defendant says punish the journalist. The comment
The invectives against Tizian following the attacks at the Giacalone hearing and those of 2008 against Capacchione and Saviano require public positions to be taken.
There have been claims of solidarity to the journalist who has been the object of threats once again. But the episode has not sparked the civil mobilization which such an arrogant and unacceptable public proclamation of hostility towards the civil function of journalism information deserves, and which in Italy is the subject of intense and continuous campaigns of hostility.(continua a leggere in italiano)

Football. Banner “Varriale pig” at Juventus-Cagliari match
The banner exposed during the match in Turin. The stadium whistles the hooligans, and the banner is removed. The author identified and denounced. Solidarity to the journalist.
“Varriale pig”: this is the banner displayed at the stadium in Turin on Sunday, May 18th, against the sports journalist Mr Enrico Varriale of RAI. The writing has appeared in the second half of Juventus-Cagliari along with the words “Free Speziale”.(continua a leggere in italiano)

“Trieste Free”. Trial against Parovel, sued by the mayor
The journalist must answer defamation charges tied to the accusation of unlawful conduct by administrators on the restoration of the Old Port.
On May, 23rd began at the Court of Trieste the trial for libel borne by the journalist Paul Parovel, editor of La Voce di Trieste, and known exponent of the “Movement Free Trieste”.(continua a leggere in italiano)

Enna: the journalist who did not reveal the source is acquitted
Giulia Martorana was sentenced to twenty days of arrest in the first degree. The appellate ruling has given reason. Approval of Order and UNCI.
In 2011 she was tried for refusing to reveal to the court the trustee of a news source and was sentenced in the first degree to twenty days of arrest because the “publicist journalists” are not recognized for the right to professional secrecy provided instead for professional journalists. The comment by Valerio Vartolo.(continua a leggere in italiano)

Rostagno judgment. Satisfaction of UNCI, ODG and Assostampa
“After 26 years, finally a historical truth”, the reporters’ union writes. The rector of the University of Trento rejected the proposal of naming a classroom after him.
“Finally the judges have made in the first degree a historical sentencing: Mauro Rostagno was killed by a the mob for his courage, his intelligence and his extraordinary sensitivity in denouncing the intertwining of politics and the mafia in the province of Trapani.”(continua a leggere in italiano)

Right to be forgotten: landmark ruling by the European Court
The search engines will remove those links deemed “not relevant” at the request of the parties concerned, except public figures.
The ruling issued on May, 13th by the Court of Justice of the European Union in terms of “right to be forgotten” is one of those that can be called a “landmark decision” that, besides raising issues, also raises serious questions and opens up new and urgent debates, may these be civil, social, legal, or economic, and also with regard to the ease of access to information on the network.(continua a leggere in italiano)

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