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Calabria. The journalist Agostino Pantano will be prosecuted for handling stolen goods

He was sued in 2010 for a series of articles on the dissolution of the town council of Taurianuova. He is now facing up to eight years in prison

Agostino Pantano, journalist and contributor to the newspaper Il Garantista and former reporter for Calabria Ora, will be prosecuted for handling stolen goods and faces up to eight years in prison. The first hearing is scheduled for April 16 in front of the single judge of Palmi.

THE FACTS – The story dates back to 2010, when Pantano, at the time responsible for the newsroom of Gioia Tauro of the daily Calabria Ora, was sued for having written seven articles regarding the dissolution, issued in April 2009, of the town council of Taurianova (in the province of Reggio Calabria) for mafia infiltration. It was not the mayor in office at the time of dissolution to have filed the complaint, but the former mayor of the town, Rocco Biasi, who felt offended by the articles which spoke of some as yet unkown passages of the report of the Access Committee, which were related to him.

In October 2011, the judge for the preliminary investigation of the Court of Cosenza (responsible for the area, since the newspaper was printed in that city) had archived the complaint for defamation, but had passed the case to the public prosecutor because he suspected that Pantano had obtained the news illicitly: the information contained in the seven articles – even if considered by the same judge as functional to “exercise the freedom of the press” – were drawn from a document (indeed, the report of the Access Committee) classified as “confidential”.

THE PROSECUTION – In the act of indictment that set the first hearing, it states that the journalist “in order to receive a profit, in the implementation of the items that constitute his professional activity, has acquired or received information subject to office secrecy.”

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