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Defamation. Former ePolis editor risks prison like Sallusti

Antonio Cipriani was responsible for 15 free-press newspapers. The publisher is gone. He faced by himself 34 trials for omitted control. Sentenced by the court of Oristano.

The mobilization Omesso Controllo (omitted control) is growing. This is the charge that he had to contest in several civil courts in Italy, with the result of exhausting his savings, be sentenced in the first degree, and not have any more money to appeal against the conviction and see himself be notified with final judgments, including now one that provides for five months in prison. This latter verdict was issued by the Criminal Court of Oristano on July 2, 2014, for an article published on Il Giornale di Sardegna on 14 February 2007. After less than three years, the sensational case of the editor of Il Giornale Alessandro Sallusti, who ended up under house arrest in 2012 and freed thanks to an intervention by the President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano who commuted the prison sentence to a fine, risks a recurrence.

On the Antonio Cipriani case intervened the FNSI, the ODG and various associations defending freedom of the press. And the mobilization to sensitize institutions is growing. The journalist tells his story in a long and detailed account: “My absurd case of journalist destined to go to prison.”

The senators of the M5S Luis Alberto Orellana and Lorenzo Battista took heart to the case: “What is happening to the journalist Antonio Cipriani is unbelievable because the executive sentence to five months in prison by the court of Oristano because it seems he would have omitted the control on a article by a colleague, article considered defamatory when Cipriani was editor of the network of free press dailies, can not remain unanswered.”

Sandra Zampa, MP and spokesman for Romano Prodi, also said: “The story of Antonio Cipriani, to whom I express my solidarity and my friendship, ranges between the tragic and the grotesque. A respected professional information operator that finds himself with a prison sentence and with thirty causes to cope with all alone because the publisher has stepped back. After the story of the daily L’Unità, which saw asked editor and journalists to be refunded, we did not expect to have to learn of the fate that touched Cipriani. A story like this can not happen in any civilized country and is worrying that it happened in Italy.”

“It is absurd that there is still prison for journalists, when Parliament is debating a bill, now in its third reading at the House’s Judiciary Committee, that erases this kind of punishment” Vincenzo Vita says, journalist and politician of the Democratic Party , former MP and former Secretary for Communications with responsibility for the broadcasting and multimedia system in the Prodi, D’Alema and Amato government. “In the E-Polis case, then, the law provides imprisonment for the editors responsible for omitted control, proves to be emblematic of another era, when an editor had to check a single newspaper of maximum 30-40 pages and a few journalists. Here there were 15 editions of the newspaper, an industrial quantity of copies, a large number of journalists and collaborators. How is it possible to think that an editor can control everything?”.

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