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“Clique” and “loan sharhs”: acquitted the reporters of the Giornale del Cilento

For the Judge for the Preliminary Hearing of Vallo della Lucania Court “the facts do not amount to an offense” because the two terms are “belonging to the common lingo.” The disputed articles date back to 2012

Maurizio Troccoli, chief editor of ilgiornaledelcilento.it, Luigi Martino, a journalist of judicial news, and the publisher Mario Scarpitta were acquitted of libel because the offense does not exist. It is what it is possible to read in the judgment for the non-committal pronounced by the Judge for the preliminary hearing of the court of Vallo della Lucania on June 22, 2016. Journalists and editor had been sued for using, in a series of articles published in 2012, the terms “clique and loan sharks” to define the investigation for an alleged usury conspiracy: an investigation for which some people were arrested and indicted. The court case of Troccoli, Martino and Scarpitta does not end with the dismissal of this case. In fact, for one of these same articles the three, in January 2016, have been indicted (read more) and in November the first hearing is scheduled.

“Clique” and “loan sharks”, the sentence of the Judge, “are words belonging to common parlance and can not in this case be considered freely damaging the reputation of suspects.” In this case the spread of the news is “legitimate freedom of the press” as they have been fulfilling the requirements of truth and public interest in the knowledge of the facts, being prosecuted for the crime of usury.

“There is no doubt – Maurizio Troccoli told Ossigeno – that there are many journalists who are in the situation of having used slang terms without wanting to offend the reputation of anyone. I think the decision is so clear that it can be taken as a reference for similar cases.”

Ossigeno has followed the case since 2014. (more)

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