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Rome. Released from all charges 5 journalists sued by Tar judge of Lazio

Declared the “insufficiency to proceed” for the trials against the reporters of Il Tempo, Il Fatto Quotidiano and Report. In the same proceedings, also involved Salvatore Buzzi

The Judge for the Preliminary Investigation of the Court of Rome on 26 September 2017 ordered the “insufficiency to proceed” for the trial against reporters Antonio Padellaro and Carlo Di Foggia (Il Fatto Quotidiano), Valeria di Corrado and Gianmarco Chiocci (reporter and chief editor of Il Tempo) and Giorgio Mottola (envoy for the TV show Report, broadcast on RAI 3), all accused of defamation.

The reporter had been sued in 2014 by Linda Sandulli, chairman of the I ter section of the TAR of Lazio, because in their articles and TV services they had suggested a conflict of interests between the functions exercised by the judge, who deals with public tenders, and her holdings in a building company (PROETI srl, in which she holds 33.33% and her husband 46.67%).

In 2012, the company was awarded €239 thousand for the restructuring of the reception center for asylum seekers (CARA) in Castelnuovo di Porto (in the province of Rome).

The Prosecutor had asked for a sentencing of the journalists, but the Judge for the preliminary investigation of the Court of Rome has ruled that the articles and television reports had no “defamatory character”. The judgment emphasizes that the narration of the facts is marked by “the nature of truthfulness”, that the journalists have “legitimately” expressed their views, exercising the right to criticize. For the judge, the story is of “unquestionable and unequivocal public interest” and the expressions used are never “out of line”.

PROBLEMS ALSO FOR BUZZI AND OTHERS – Judge Sandulli, with the same act, has also released other defendants in the same affair: Salvatore Buzzi, sentenced in the first degree to 19 years for the Mafia Capitale trial, Paola Varvazzo, ex vice-prefect of Rome and former regional councilor for Social Policies, and Claudio Bolla, considered Buzzi’s right arm.

In particular, Buzzi and Varvazzo were accused of defamation along with the journalist of Il Tempo Valeria Di Corrado.

Buzzi – who in 2013 had won the procurement contract for the management of the CARA in Castelnuovo di Porto which was subsequently revoked by the TAR of Lazio following the appeal of a French firm – had to dispute the accusations of having provided documentation to the journalist; Varvazzo, on the other hand, stood accused of having delivered to Buzzi the financials and legal papers of the reception centre.

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