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What is going on in Italy – Safety Net Ossigeno – 22nd-28th December 2014

The 43rd of the 48 weekly reports created with the support of the European Union and disseminated in eleven countries to promote a common awareness

Libel suits and damage claims: these are a thorns in the side of journalists. The many cases told by Ossigeno are there to show for it. 2014 closes with several reports of this kind. Nothing new, and this is exactly the problem, since in Parliament a reform that provides for the abolition of imprisonment for journalists is still stuck: a necessary measure, albeit a minimal one. Much more is needed for preventing, among other things, unlimited amounts requested to editors and reporters. Take the case of the newspaper Il Tempo that, along with the Corrieredella Sera and La Stampa, received a request of twenty-four million and three hundred thousand euros (24.300.000) in compensation to the ImpresaGeneraleCostruzioni from Gela. The newspaper had published three articles that indicated that the company was at fault with its anti-mafia certification while performing sub-contracts in the reconstruction of the earthquake stricken Abruzzi region. The journalist Angela Baglioni, editor of Il Tempo of Pescara, is being sued along with her newspaper in the amount of 2.5 million euros, while from January 1st will also be laid off.

EDITORS THAT TAKE IT ON TO AUTHORS – It also happens that one of the major Italian publishing houses, after losing a lawsuit, asks the author, by virtue of the indemnity clause within the contract, to pay the damages: it happened to the journalist FilippoFacci, who discovered that he had lost a civil suit for defamation and that he was not defended by Mondadori. Mr Facci will not only have to compensate the promoter of the cause in the order of 5 thousand euros: the publisher wants to be remunerated for the 46 thousand euros to be paid to the plaintiff.

LAWSUIT ANNOUNCEMENT – In Rome, investigations continue on the Mafia Capitale case, which is disrupting local and national politics. The river of phone taps published continues to bring out acts of collusion and conspiracy. Walter Veltroni and Giovanna Melandri warned that they will file a lawsuit against the newspaper Il Giornale for an article published on December 13th entitled ” How the boss’s sister complicates the lives of Melandri and Veltroni” which speaks of “a quantum leap” in the career of AnnamariaBuzzi, sister of Salvatore, the head of the cooperative 29 Giugno: a take-off at the Ministry of Culture, the newspaper said, occurred during their tenure of the department.

The Order of Journalists of Tuscany protested following the meeting of the Regional Council of Tuscany on the issue of the High Speed Train in Florence. The assembly – as the regular session finished – was convened behind closed doors, although the Council of the regional Order of Journalists had previously requested the regional president Alberto Monaci to allow access to the press “on such an important issue.”

ARCHIVES – The complaint lodged by the mayor of Marina di Camerota (in the province of Salerno), against the newspaper Giornale del Cilento, who had corrected a wrong news and apologized publicly, was filed for archiving. The judge for the preliminary investigations of the Court of VallodellaLucania decided in fact “not to prosecute” the editor Maurizio Troccoli, who had written by mistake that the mayor Antonio Romano was indicted for embezzlement.

€24 million in damages. A company in Gela files requests against three newspapers for defamation
The IGC had a sub contract revoked while working on sites stricken by the Abruzzi earthquake. Corrieredella Sera, La Stampa and Il Tempo wrote that it had no anti-mafia certification
Twenty-four million and three hundred thousand euros in damages. It is the amount of damages requested by the ImpresaGeneraleCostruzione from Gela to the newspapers Corrieredella Sera, La Stampa and Il Tempo for three news articles that indicated the company’s omissions in the anti-mafia certifications while performing sub contracted works in the earthquake stricken Abruzzi region. Continue reading

Defamation. Mondadori sentenced, retaliates against author. The Facci case
Following a conviction in a civil trial to compensate 46 thousand euros for defamation, the publisher has asked the reporter to shoulder the charges
It is shocking for a journalist to find out after the facts that he lost a civil lawsuit for defamation: it is shocking not only to discover that he was sentenced in absentia to pay five thousand euros, but that his publisher – the Mondadori group, one of the largest in Italy – wants to be indemnified by him of the forty-six thousand euros that had to be paid to the promoter of the cause. Continue reading

Mafia Capitale. A lawsuit boom
The stream of published phone conversations, which helped “the middle world” come to the surface, has pushed many to resort to justice
Walter Veltroni and Giovanna Melandri have announced that they are pressing charges against the daily Il Giornale for an article published on the 13th of December and titled “How the boss’s sister complicates the lives of Melandri and Veltroni” (“Così la sorella del boss inguaia Melandri e Veltroni”) which argues of “ a quantum leap” in the ofAnnamariaBuzzi, sister of Salvatore, chief of the cooperative 29 Giugno: a take-off at the Ministry of Culture, the newspaper writes, which occurred during their tenure of the institution. Continue reading

Tuscany. Regional Council behind closed doors on HSR, protest of Order of Journalists
Secret session on December 17th on the management of the High Speed rail in Florence. The regional order: “we had requested press access, a decision without justification”
No journalists during the meeting of the Regional Council of Tuscany on the issue of the High Speed Rail in Florence. The assembly – as the regular session finished – was convened behind closed doors, although the Council of the regional Order of Journalists had previously requested the regional president Alberto Monaci to allow access to the press “on a matter so important.” Continue reading

Spontaneous correction. The judge files for archiving lawsuit against Giornale del Cilento
The daily had corrected a wrong information and apologized publicly, but the mayor of Marina di Camerota had filed a complaint for defamation
The judge for the preliminary investigations of the Court of VallodellaLucania decided “not to prosecute” the editor of the newspaper Giornale del Cilento Maurizio Troccoli, who had written by mistake that the mayor of Marina di Camerota (Salerno), Antonio Romano, had been indicted for embezzlement. Continue reading

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