Mercoledì, 26 Settembre 2018
ROME

Italian newspaper editor sentenced to jail for libel

English
© ANSA

(ANSA) - Rome, September 26 - The Cassation Court on
Wednesday confirmed a 14-month jail sentence for Alessandro
Sallusti, the editor of the Berlusconi family newspaper Il
Giornale, for libel.
Sallusti was appealing an earlier sentence from June 2011
in which he was held responsible for printing libellous remarks
submitted by a reader in another rightwing paper he edited,
Libero, expressing outrage over judge Giuseppe Cocilovo's
decision granting a 13-year-old the right to have an abortion.
"If there were the death penalty, and if it were ever
applicable in a situation, this would be the case. For the
parents, the gynecologist and the judge," wrote the anonymous
reader in 2007, who used the pseudonym 'Dreyfus'.
The comment appeared in an article by Andrea Monticone, who
now faces a new trial.
The court ruled that since the comment was not directly
traceable to the person who said it, the responsibility fell on
the editor of the paper.
It added Sallusti was responsible for misrepresenting the
court's ruling as one that forced the girl to have an abortion,
as opposed to granting her the right as a minor without the
consent of both parents.
The case, which has aroused freedom-of-expression protests
from Italian journalists of all leanings, prompted a special
session of the Italian journalists union FNSI, which has not
ruled out calling a strike.
"The ruling defeats and kills the freedom of expression,"
FNSI Secretary Franco Siddi told ANSA, calling the decision
"disturbing" in "a country with a democratic constitution".
"Journalists know how to respond in unison," he added.
Upholding the Milan court's ruling, the Cassation Court on
Wednesday also ordered Sallusti to pay for all trial expenses,
including an additional 4,500 euros for costs from the latest
appeal.
Following the ruling Wednesday, Sallusti announced he was
stepping down.

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