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What is going on in Italy – Safety Net Ossigeno 1st-7th September 2014

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

Safety Net Ossigeno – Weekly Report 1st-7th September 2014
What happened in Italy: threatened journalists and obscured news  

Threats, abuses, delayed filings, another reporter under police protection and a reporter killed in Gaza: context of the last five weeks in Italy is a dramatic one.

VIDEOREPORTER KILLED – On August, 13th the Italian video reporter Simone Camilli was killed, along with six other people, in BeitLahiya, north of Gaza. He was shooting with his camera Palestinian sappers intent on defusing an unexploded Israeli bomb. The bomb exploded during operations. Camilli is the eighteenth Italian reporter killed abroad. In May, in Ukraine, Andrea Rocchelli had died in similar circumstances.

REPORTERS UNDER PROTECTION – The name of Paolo Borrometi, journalist from Modica (in the province of Ragusa), from August 28 has been added to the list of at least 11 Italian reporters who live under police protection. A month and a half before the protection had been assigned to Michele Albanese, journalist for the daily Quotidiano del Sud. Mr Borrometi, correspondent for the news agency AGI and editor of the local online newspaper La Spia, now lives protected by two carabinieri and moves around with the their car service. The protection has been assigned after a series of intimidations. Finally, on the night between 24 and 25 August, persons who remain unknown set fire to his front door. In October 2013, the inscription “Be careful” was engraved on the side of his car. On April 16, Borrometi was in his country home and there he had been beaten up by two men with their faces covered that twisted his arm causing fractures to the shoulder. In early August, he found a writing on the wall in front of his house door: “Borrometi you’re dead”.

“BOWS” – Mr EdoardoLambertiCastronuovo, mayor of San Procopio, a town of 800 inhabitants in the province of Reggio Calabria, is being investigated by the Anti-Mafia District Directorate on charges of aggravated mafia-like slander against the journalist Mr Michele Inserra, chief editor of the Reggio Calabria offices of the daily Quotidiano del Sud. In July, the mayor had asked insistently to the journalist to retract what he had written: that during the procession of the patron saint of the small town, the statue of the saint “bowed” in front of the home of a local boss sentenced to life imprisonment. He also had the city council approve the request that the journalist would have had to express a public apology, or he would be sued for libel and damages. The accusation of the crime of slander in these circumstances is an absolute novelty.

OTHER BOWS – Some journalists apparently have the devil “within”. With these words the priest Don Pietro Lever, prior of the Carmelites of Palermo, decried the work of reporters, who on newspapers and news websites reported on July 27th that in the neighbourhood of Palermo Ballarò, during a religious procession, the bearers of the statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmelo stopped to make a reverential bow before the funeral parlour of the Palermo boss of PortaNuova, Alessandro D’Ambrogio.

INTIMIDATIONS – On August 17th, the windshield of the car of EmilianoMorrone, journalist and blogger, was seriously damaged. It happened in his hometown of San Giovanni in Fiore, in the province of Cosenza. On August 13th, in a public meeting, Morrone had criticized the municipal administrators accusing them of inefficiency and pointing to the risk of criminal infiltration.

In Casamassima, in the province of Bari, on July 23rd, the city council had an emergency meeting and approved a motion against the author of an unwelcome article, published by the local weekly La Voce del Paese. The article criticizes the decision by the city council to modify an agreement with a commercial company.

DEFAMATION – Massimo Ciancimino, entrepreneur, son of the former mayor of Palermo, has announced two lawsuits against the online newspapers Resapubblica.it and GiustiziaGiusta.info, which criticized his attendance at the ceremony commemorating the massacre of Viad’Amelio, in which the magistrate Paolo Borsellino and his detail lost their lives. On November 18, a preliminary hearing for the journalists Giovanni Toti, Emilio Fede (former chief editors of Studio Aperto and the TG4 respectively) and three other Mediaset journalists indicted for defamation will take place in Bari. The former mayor Michele Emiliano, current regional secretary of the Democratic Party in Puglia, requested from them two and a half million Euros in compensation. In 2012, the 30-min news shows Studio Aperto and TG4 said that the former mayor of Bari was investigated for corruption. The information proved to be false.

ARCHIVING – The journalist Rosario Dimito, editor in chief of economics and finance at the daily Il Messaggero, was accused of abuse of insider information for having anticipated by a day, in an article, data from the financial statements of Telecom. A year later, the judge for the preliminary investigations at the Court of Rome, Alessandra Boffi, accepting the prosecutor’s request, ordered the archiving of the case. After four years, the Court of Rome has ruled that the daily Il FattoQuotidiano has not defamed the former President of the Senate Renato Schifani in five articles, published between 2009 and 2010, which told of his relationships within Mafia circles. Schifani had asked for a compensation of 720 thousand euros. The same Court of Rome, in July, rejected a claim for damages filed by FedeleConfalonieri, chairman of Mediaset, against the chief editor of L’Espresso Bruno Manfellotto and the journalist Marco Travaglio, author of the article “Fininvest, unpunished racket” (Fininvest, pizzoimpunito).

Gaza. Explosion. The Italian video reporter Simone Camilli dead
It is the eighteenth reporter from our country that has been killed abroad. In May, in the Ukraine, Andrea Rocchelli had died in similar circumstances.
The Italian video reporter Simone Camilli was killed, along with six other people, today, August 13, in BeitLahiya, in northern Gaza, while filming with the camera Palestinians sappers intent on defusing an unexploded Israeli bomb. The bomb exploded during operations. Continue reading

Modica (Ragusa province). The journalist Polo Borrometi also under police protection
It follows the setting on fire of his house front door on August 25. The correspondent of AGI News Agency had already been attacked and received various threats.
Since August 28, the journalist Paolo Borrometi, of Modica (in the province of Ragusa, Sicily), lives under the protection of two carabinieri and moves around with their car service. Borrometi is a correspondent for the news agency AGI and is the editor of the local online news outlet La SpiaContinue reading

Mayor of San Procopio investigated for slander against the journalist Inserra
Questioned by the Prosecutor’s Office after the complaint by the reporter who had to be judged in the public square for reporting the alleged bow of the patron saint
Eduardo LambertiCastronuovo, councillor for legality in the province of Reggio Calabria and mayor of San Procopio, is being investigated by the District Anti-Mafia Directorate on charges of mafia-like aggravated slander against the journalist Michele Inserra, editor of Reggio Calabria’s office of the daily Quotidiano del Sud. Continue reading

The Inserra-Castronuovo case and aggravated slander
A legal comment by Valerio Vartolo

Inside some journalists there is the devil, says prior of Palermo
Don PietroLeva has denied the bowing of the Virgin’s statute in front of the store of the boss, as told by La Repubblica. Assostampa and UNCI condemn his words.
“We are confident that the devil is in the mafia, but it is equally true that it also makes inroads into some journalists, willing to do a scoop at any cost”. With these words Don PietroLeva, prior of the Carmelites of Palermo, commented the work of the reporters authors of the articles published in newspapers and news websites that reported of an alleged reverential bow of the statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmelo in front of the funeral parlour shop of the Palermo boss of PortaNuova Alessandro D’Ambrogio. Continue reading

Calabria. Emiliano Morrone finds his car’s windshield smashed
It happened in San Giovanni in Fiore (in the province of Cosenza) where the journalist and blogger had just denounced mafia infiltrations. Solidarity candlelight walk in the town.
The windshield was neatly cut, and in broad daylight, but no one saw, no one heard anything. This is how EmilianoMorrone, 38 years old, journalist and blogger, found his car late in the morning of August 17 in San Giovanni in Fiore, in the province of Cosenza, his hometown. Continue reading

Casamassima (Bari province). Unanimous order of business against unwelcome article
Emergency meeting of theCity Council following criticisms published by the weekly La Voce del paese on a decision by the administration. Solidarity from Assostampa
In Casamassima, in the province of Bari, on July 23, the City Council met to discuss an urgent order of business relative to “articles that are misleading and potentially harmful to the image of the First Citizen”. Continue reading

Sicily. Massimo Ciancimino files lawsuit against two online news outlets
The entrepreneur, son of the former mayor of Palermo, did not like the articles by Resapubblica.it and GiustizaGiusta.info, which criticized his attendance at the commemoration of the massacre of Via D’Amelio.
Massimo Ciancimino announces two lawsuits against the online news outlets Resapubblica.it and GiustiziaGiusta.info. Continue reading

Defamation. Bari. Emiliano (PD) asks 2.5 million from Mediaset
In 2012, the news shows Studio Aperto and TG4 said that the former mayor was under investigation for corruption. It was not true. Giovanni Toti and Emilio Fede among the indicted.
On November 18 the preliminary hearing for Giovanni Toti, Emilio Fede (former chief editors of Studio Aperto and TG4 respectively) and three other Mediaset journalists committed to the trial, will be held in Bari following a libel suit by the former mayor of Bari Mr Michele Emiliano, current regional secretary of the Democratic Party in Puglia, who has demanded a compensation of 2 and a half million Euros. Continue reading

Telecom. After a year, Il Messaggero reporter acquitted
Rosario Dimito was accused of using insider information for an article in which he anticipated data on the financial statements.
The judge for the preliminary investigations of the Court of Rome, Ms Alessandra Boffi, accepting the prosecutor’s request, ordered that the proceedings which had been initiated against the journalist Rosario Dimito, chief editor for economics and finance of the daily Il Messaggero, accused of abuse of insider information. Continue reading

Defamation. Il FattoQuotidiano does not have to compensate Schifani
The former president of the Senate had cited the newspaper asking €720,000 for five articles which talked about his relationship with mafia circles.
The Court of Rome established on July 2 that Il FattoQuotidiano has not defamed the former President of the Senate Mr Renato Schifani, who four years ago had asked for a compensation of €720,000 for five articles published by the newspaper between 2009 and 2010. Continue reading

Defamation. Citation against L’Espresso for damages from Confalonieri rejected
The Mediaset chairman had sued the editor in chief, Mr Bruno Manfellotto and Marco Travaglio, author of the article “Fininvest, unpunished racket”.
The Court of Rome rejected in July a claim for damages filed by FedeleConfalonieri, chairman of Mediaset, against the editor in chief of L’Espresso Bruno Manfellotto and the journalist Marco Travaglio. Continue reading

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