The blog and freedom of information

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Scarica l'ultimo numero del magazine Scarica "La Settimana" N°23-vol4
del 08 giugno 2008

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This Blog interviewed Antonino Monteleone, the Calabrian journalist, after the seizure of his blog.
"Hi, my name is Antonino. I am 23 years of age, I am the organiser of the Reggio Calabria Meetup and I’m a journalist. In 2006, I set up a blog at www.antoninomonteleone.it, in which I proceeded to regularly and vociferously express my opinions and assessments concerning the occurrences and circumstances that I experienced as a result of my work, and I also reported certain facts that are perhaps better left unsaid on the official channels. My Blog was placed under sequestration with effect from Friday 6 June. I would like to explain to you precisely why this has happened and how the entire matter developed. Immediately after the 2006 political elections, I decided to post some extracts from a document circulated during the election campaign that laid our the CVs of the candidates standing for the Chamber and the Senate, and that would have almost certainly been elected to represent the Calabria Region because their names appeared high up on the nomination lists. The document mentioned certain former regional councillors nominated notwithstanding the fact that they had been involved in serious crimes against the public administration, such as manipulation of tenders and abuse of power. Former centre-right deputies that walked across to the centre-left, notwithstanding the serious charges levelled against them, such as external involvement in mafia activities. I would often post excerpts from this document, where the articles were almost always consisted of bits and pieces drawn from other articles published by the national daily newspapers. We are talking here about La Repubblica, the Espresso and Il Messaggero. On 9 December 2006, I posted an article concerning the Honourable Giuseppe Galati, who was a member of the UDC party at the time and who held the post of undersecretary in the Ministry for productive activities during the period in office of the Berlusconi Government that had won the elections in May 2001. In 2003, the Roma scandal broke and operation “Cleopatra” eventually led to the arrest of Serena Grandi and the investigation of Senator Colombo. What emerged from the Preliminary Investigation Judge’s documentation submitted to the Rome Court was that none other than the Honourable Galati was an habitual cocaine user, which was supplied to him from within the Ministry for Productive Activities, of which he was undersecretary. I wrote this article on the 9th December and then, on the 26th February 2007, I received an e-mail from the Honourable Galati, entitled “Enquiry in terms of art. 7 of the Privacy Law” and in which he asked me to reveal the sources from which I had obtained this information. In addition, he stated that he wished to correct certain of the contents of the article because these were inaccurate and were aimed at discrediting him personally. I only responded to his mail on the 9th March. The reason why I did not respond immediately is simply that his mail took me by surprise and I wanted to first put together the details regarding the sources behind the information on which the article was based. As a matter of fact, most of the press articles were available in the collection posted on the Chamber of Deputies’ website. I then responded to his mail, making sure to forward a copy for information purposes to the Privacy Watchdog. In the same mail, I asked the Honourable Galati to indicate to me which parts of the article he believed to be inaccurate, incomplete or false, so that I could fulfil my duty to review, which burden is placed on the press by the law. Nothing. Silence. This event is also mentioned in the decision handed down after the initial court hearing relating to the application lodged in terms of art. 700, an urgent procedure that I received notification for in July of that year, namely 2007. One fine day the Court Messenger arrived on my doorstep to serve me with a subpoena. After failing to respond to my e-mail, in which I requested that he indicate which parts of the article he believed to be defamatory so that I could make any necessary corrections, Galati nevertheless decided to drag me into court. Prior to appearing in the courtroom with my defence attorney, who also happens to be a friend of mine, namely Attorney Creaco, I wrote on my blog that Galati had laid charges against me for the article I had written in December, and that the initial hearing was scheduled for August of that same, just two weeks later. Galati’s attorney requested that the judge issue a ruling that even the simple fact that I had mentioned his eminence the judge and the date of the hearing constituted a repetition of my defamatory conduct against his client. The fact remains that, given that that this was an urgent application for protection, lodged in terms of article 700 of the Criminal Court Procedure Code, the judge failed to find any of the basic grounds for protection, namely “periculum in mora” and “fumus boni iuris” in terms of the alleged offence and therefore he rejected the application, ordering Galati to pay costs. Galati decided to lodge an appeal, but now we must examine the merits of the case in detail.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 02:19 PM in | Comments (3) | Comments in Italian (translated) Post a comment | Sign up | Send to a friend | | GrilloNews | listen_it_it.gifListen |
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Comments

Dead written subject material, Really enjoyed studying. cbfdckcbkgceegfb

Posted by: Smithd811 | April 28, 2014 02:23 PM


Frankly, I'm not sure anybody has an answer...

Posted by: Rocco Scandizzo | June 30, 2008 03:37 AM


Can someone explain how it is possible for people with organized crime connections and criminal records in Italy be allowed to run for political offices or become ministers? In other countries every political candidate has to go through a rigourous background-check. Should there be a whiff of bad smell the candidate is investigated by police. If Italy allows mafia suspects or people with former mafia ties to run in democratic elections Italians might as well kiss goodbye to democracy. Italian politics doesn't seem to attract the best and brightest but seems to be infested by politicians with dubious past connections and questionable dealings. Italy gives the impression that is being managed by the inmates. It would also be interesting to hear once again about Schifani and his rise to second-in-command position. I recently heard him say that media is orchestrating a defamatory campaign against him. He should tell Italians about his former dealings with mafia characters. Smearing whomever questions his past is no defense. The least he could do for Italians is to answer the questioners. Should he fail to do that the government itself could be accused of cover-up.

Posted by: lou pacella | June 18, 2008 02:19 PM


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