Suspicious anonymous packages and a bomb alert at La Repubblica. Threats to the founder and chief editor of the newspaper. The judiciary is investigating
In February 2020, the Rome Public Prosecutor began an investigation into the threats delivered in recent weeks, with some letters sent from false addresses and an anonymous phone call, to the newspaper La Repubblica threatening the newspaper and in particular two journalists; the founder of the newspaper, Eugenio Scalfari, and the chief editor Carlo Verdelli. The investigation is being coordinated by the deputy prosecutor Sergio Colaiocco who entrusted the investigations to the Digos (the police special branch). Investigations are being conducted into unknown persons for the crime of threats and for causing alarm in relation to the anonymous phone call which on the 15th January 2010 falsely announced the presence of a bomb in the editorial offices. For the attention of investigators, there are six suspect envelopes sent, in some cases, from foreign addresses.
SOLIDARITY – The Editorial Committee, the union’s representative body on the newspaper, has taken a stand against “the escalation of threats and intimidation targeting La Repubblica and its journalists” and expressed solidarity with the director Carlo Verdelli and the founder Eugenio Scalfari and asked for their readers’ support (See here).
Ossigeno per l’informazione and the FNSI have also expressed solidarity with the journalists.
THE FACTS – Between Sunday 2nd and Tuesday 4th February bomb disposal experts, police and specialised biological, chemical and radiological units of the Fire Brigade intervened three times at the central editorial offices in Rome of the newspaper La Repubblica temporarily evacuating some premises following the delivery of some suspicious packages intended for the founder Eugene Scalfari. Four of the six letters were delivered to the newspaper’s post room on Sunday 2nd February: three had fake German senders, the fourth came from the United Kingdom.
On Monday the 3rd February, the fifth letter was delivered, sent from a French post office. The sixth came on Tuesday 4th February from a sender in Hamburg. Nondescript “organic materials” were found in all the envelopes.