Martedì, 23 Ottobre 2018

Sallusti indicted in second libel case


(ANSA) - Milan, September 27 - Alessandro Sallusti, the
former editor of Italian daily Il Giornale sentenced to prison
Wednesday for libel, was indicted Thursday in a separate libel
case, accused of defaming a former military prosecutor in Padua.
Journalist Barbara Romano and General Antonio Pappalardo
were also indicted for comments in a 2007 interview for the
right-wing Libero daily, where Sallusti was editor at the time.
The trial, which is scheduled to commence December 5 in
Milan, is centered around allegedly libelous remarks from the
general about Maurizio Block, now a member of the military's
superior council of judges.
Defence attorneys representing Sallusti and Romano argue
that publishing the statements was legal given that the general
served in an institutional role, putting his comments in the
public interest.
In a separate case, Sallusti was sentenced Wednesday to 14
months in jail for libel, with the Cassation Court ruling that
he was responsible for comments by an unknown contributor
printed in Libero that defamed a judge.
On Thursday columnist Renato Farina, a former Libero deputy
editor and current MP in ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi's People
of Freedom (PdL) party, confessed to writing the comments.
Free-speech advocates have decried both cases because,
among other reasons, Sallusti was not accused of actually
writing any of the objectionable comments.
President Giorgio Napolitano and Justice Minister Paola
Severino on Thursday said they had agreed to amend the country's
libel laws in accordance with EU standards.

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