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Defamation. After prescription, the trial continues. What kind of justice is this?

For an article published 11 years ago the offense is extinguished, but the Supreme Court gives green light to a civil suit for damages. A similar case came to an end after 21 years

In Italy the trials for libel can have a very long life. The cases are numerous, but some proceedings beggar belief. This is confirmed by the trial in which the then editor of Libero, Alessandro Sallusti, and the reporter Giuseppe Rinaldi are accused of defamation. Ten years after the publication of an article, they were tried three times. First convicted and then acquitted. Finally, the criminal sentences were canceled, the offense has lapsed into prescription, but was brought against them a civil suit for damages that could last another ten years.

The two journalists will have to appear once again before a Court of Justice – and it will be the fourth time – to respond to the claims for compensation for a libel lawsuit for an article published on the newspaper Libero over ten years ago, on 23 October 2005. The codes indeed state that to establish the moral damages, the prosecution persists even after the extinction of the charges of defamation and the expiry of the limitation period.


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