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Bologna trial. The accused attacks the journalist Tizian once again

Mr Nicola Femia continues menacingly accusing the reporter under police protection. The Court recalls him and sends a report to the Public Attorney

Mr Nicola Femia, accused in Bologna in Black Monkey trial on charges of criminal mafia association, during the last hearing has once again pointed to Mr Giovanni Tizian (journalist under police protection for over two years) as the cause of his troubles with justice and the “media pillory” to which he says he has been subjected. At the hearing on May, 30th he made the name of Tizian four times in twenty minutes.

Despite his lawyer claims that “these are not threats”, the words of the accused have a clear intimidating tone and add to the similar injuctions pronounced during the hearing of May, 16th when he said: “I was held in prison custody because of a journalist”, “who makes a mistake must pay. Femia is wrong? Femia must pay. The journalist is wrong? The journalist must pay.”

The President of the Court has tried to restrain the defendant, then announced that he would send a transcript of the hearing to the prosecution with the text of the new charges railed against Tizian. He also offered Femia the opportunity to recant. But the defendant remained unmoved.

Some reporters had asked to authorize the filming of the trial, but the Court did not allow it. “The mere physical presence of the equipment and of the operators disturbs the activities of the proceedings”, is what can be read in the motivations given by the President of the Court of Bologna, Mr Francesco Scutellari, for not allow the filming, which, in his belief, could “cause discomfort and psychological aspects on all the subjects participating in the trial.”

In the courtroom there were also the two sons and the son-in-law of Mr Femia, who also stand accused but are as yet free. “Laugh, laugh, write, write”, they said passing by the reporters. “You have prepared a really nice media trial”, they continued while talking to the reporters at the end of the hearing, continuing to accuse Tizian and deride the protective measures taken for him: “why is there such a protection? What is it supposed to do? Quit it!”

At the end of the hearing the journalists Mr Attilio Bolzoni from La Repubblica and Mr Lirio Abbate from L’Espresso, in the presence of other reporters, had a lively exchange with one of Mr Femia’s lawyers and his family. Mr Abbate and Mr Bolzoni have specifically asked the lawyer and the son of Mr Femia to convince the man to withdraw the charges against Giovanni Tizian.

In a sign of solidarity with Giovanni Tizian, in the courtroom there also were the representatives of the Association Libera by Don Ciotti, the President of the Order of Journalists Mr Enzo Iacopino, the writer Mr Carlo Lucarelli and many students of Bologna. Libera, the National Council of the Order of Journalists, and the same Tizian have filed civil lawsuits.

Giovanni Tizian is the journalist who, in the Gazzetta di Modena had started writing articles on mafia infiltrations in the Emilia Romagna region,  and on the video poker racket. Femia was intercepted on the phone while he complained of his articles with Mr Guido Torello, who, referring to the reporter, said: “Either he gives up or I’ll shoot him in the mouth”. The call was intercepted by investigators and, because of it, in December 2011 the journalist was assigned to police protection, to which he is still assigned.

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