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In jail for libel. The four sentences against Gabriele Carchidi

In detail, the four judgments of the Court of Cosenza, which have imposed prison sentences without conditional suspension

There have been four condemnations for libel that the Court of Cosenza has handed down in the last eight months against the journalist Gabriele Carchidi, head of the online news outlet, imposing on him every time – in addition to fines – a prison sentence and denying him the benefit of the conditional suspension of the sentence, imposing a total of two and a half years in prison for which the arrest is not carried out only because the convicted has appealed and is awaiting the Appeal’s Court to rule.

The first of the four convictions against Carchidi was issued on September 29, 2016 by the single Judge Francesca De Vuono, who accepted the request of the public prosecutor Fascino to eight months in prison. The trial arose from the pressing of charges by four Carabinieri officers in relation to four articles published in 2012 on the Cosenza Sport magazine, referring to the story of seven carabinieri who, having been transferred while investigating the death of the Bergamini football player in 1989, and engaged in the search for a fugitive of the ‘ndrangheta, had denounced their commanders for abuse of office. The Court has ruled that the journalist only partially respected the requirement of expressive countenance. Carchidi told Ossigeno of having written facts based on information obtained from the seven carabinieri and confirmed by them during the trial.

The second sentence, to seven months of imprisonment, was issued on March 29, 2017 again by the single Judge Francesca De Vuono. The trial stemmed from of a lawsuit by the mayor of Cosenza.

The third sentence, pronounced on March 31, 2017, to nine months of imprisonment, was signed by the Judge Enrico Di Dedda. The trial arose from a lawsuit by a magistrate in Cosenza, criticized by Carchidi for the role he had had in the trial that led to the conviction of the religious Father Fedele Bisceglia, accused of sexual violence, and reverted ten years later following the annulment by the supreme court.

The fourth sentence, to six months in prison, was issued on May 10, 2017 by Judge Enrico Di Dedda, following the lawsuit by the mayor Occhiuto for the defamatory expressions with which he had been defined on Facebook.

Carchidi must support at least another 64 trials for defamation. The lawsuits are moving on naturally and will soon come to judgment, and are likely to further aggravate the criminal charges against the journalist.

Among those trials, there is the one promoted over two years ago by the Mayor of Cosenza, who, by appealing to libel principles, asked for and obtained the prudent obscuration of the website, for a series of articles that criticized his tenure. The site is still obscured and since then Carchidi has continued his information activity by creating an online newspaper on a parallel website.

The Carchidi case was reported nationally by Il Manifesto newspaper (read more), which used it as a proof of the Ossigeno for the Information report, based on official data provided by the Ministry of Justice, in the dossier “Shut up or I’ll sue you!” (Taci o ti querelo!) on lawsuits used for intimidating purposes and on the non-sporadic application of prison sentences. Il Manifesto newspaper has described as follows the defamation charges against the Chief Editor of Iacchite’: 68 lawsuits, of which 17 by entrepreneurs, 6 by lawyers, 14 by politicians (undersecretaries, regional councilors, far-right representatives), seven by the Carabinieri and the Police, 15 from magistrates, 5 from public executives, 4 from other editors and journalists.


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