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Sperlonga (Latina). Carabinieri seize hotel. Journalists insulted and pushed away

They were in the street with the Carabinieri. Among the owners of the property blocked because of abusive tenders, the mayor who is under house arrests

In Sperlonga (province of Latina) on the morning of May 31, 2017, some people, in the presence of law enforcement agencies, insulted threateningly three journalists and a television operator. The reporters were on the highway to document the phases of the court’s sequestration of the Hotel Ganimede, ordered by the Procurator of the Republic of Latina in an investigation into abusive tenders. Even the Carabinieri present to carry out the seizure were insulted.

SOLIDARITY – The Roman Press Association and the Sperlonga Municipal Councilors have immediately expressed solidarity with the four reporters through public statements.

On 2 June, the delegate to the Youth Policies of the Municipality of Sperlonga, Alessandro Saccoccio, wrote on Facebook: “Journalists = scum of society”, in a comment to the communiqué of solidarity of the Roman Press Association. Two days later he apologized, always through Facebook.

OSSIGENO expresses solidarity with Sperlonga’s reporters. “This and other episodes that have occurred in recent days in Rome and in the area confirm, Alberto Spampinato, director of Ossigeno, said, that in the territory of Lazio we breathe a climate of intolerance towards the press. In recent days, Ossigeno per l’Informazione has again signaled to the authorities this unacceptable climate and called for urgent and effective interventions in this region, which boasts the primacy of being the one with the greatest number of threats and acts of intimidation against journalists.”

THE FACTS – Journalists Barbara Savodini (Il Messaggero), Federico Domenichelli (Latina Oggi), Mirko Macaro (h24notizie.it) and the video operator Giuseppe Mele (collaborator of Universo TV) were in front of Hotel Ganimede’s entrance to document the Court’s seizure, but they have had to limit themselves to take photographs from afar. Because of the climate of tension, the Carabinieri have asked them to get away.

The presence of journalists had sparked immediate protests and insults by people of whom the reporters are not able to say the names. A woman who was in front of the hotel’s entrance, as soon as she noticed the chroniclers and their camera, immediately threatened them: she would have sued them if they had filmed or photographed her. Shortly after, a man left the hotel and, gazing at the journalists, insulted them by saying, “your jobs are shit”. Another man, arriving by car, insulted both the Carabinieri present: “You are all cuckholds, you are not worthy to stay in Sperlonga.” At that point the military decided to get the reporters off the scene, but not before recording their names as witnesses.

THE HOTEL – Due to the seizure, the Hotel Ganimede can not accommodate new customers. Guests were allowed to stay until Sunday, June 4th. The hotel belongs to a company that includes the mayor of Sperlonga, Armando Cusani, who is under house arrest with the accusation of public tender disruption, and the Deputy Mayor Francescoantonio Faiola, who is carrying out the duty of first citizen. Both are signatories to numerous lawsuits for defamation against journalists. Cusani has promoted over twenty (read), Faiola at least ten, eight of which all against Federico Domenichelli of Latina Oggi (read).


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