What said in 2018 in the town of Dogliani at the New Media Festival is legitimate political criticism, the judge says
OSSIGENO March 25, 2022 – The Cuneo court acquitted Carlo De Benedetti, publisher of the newspaper ‘il Domani’, of the accusation of having defamed the leader of the Lega party Matteo Salvini calling him “the worst, anti-Semitic and xenophobic, anti-European and financed by Putin”. For these words, pronounced during a debate moderated by the La7 channel journalist Lilli Gruber at the TV and New Media Festival in Dogliani, province of Cuneo, in May 2018, Matteo Salvini sued him for defamation asking for compensation of 100,000 euro. The prosecutor Attilio Offman reduced the amount of the requested compensation to 800 euro. De Benedetti’s defence counsel maintained that their client uttered those expressions exercising the right of political criticism. Judge Emanuela Dufour on March 15th 2022 acquitted Carlo De Benedetti with the statement “the facts do not constitute an offence”. (read here)
THE REACTIONS – The publisher, defended by the lawyers Marco Ivaldi and Elisabetta Rubini, in a note issued after the sentence said he was satisfied that his opinions towards the leader of La Lega had been regarded as an expression of the right of political criticism, “not censurable in a rule of law “. Claudia Eccher, Matteo Salvini’s lawyer, instead announced an appeal. “It is a political sentence and it is potentially dangerous – she declared – it can motivate anyone to adopt the same imitative and defamatory behaviour towards any political exponent, taking into account that an Italian court did not consider the incident serious and defamatory”.