Defamation. Ossigeno takes on the legal defence of news bulletin online

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For a lawsuit Ossigeno considers reckless launched  by an entrepreneur for some reporting  on building works at the Ferrara football stadium

OSSIGENO 21st February 2024 – The Legal Desk of Ossigeno per l’Informazione, in collaboration with Media Defence, has decided to support the defence and legal costs of the Ferrara newspaper and both sued at the court of Arezzo by a former businessman from Bibbiena in the province of Arezzo for some news articles which at the time made public his being investigated by the Ferrara Prosecutor’s Office for an alleged fraud in the implementation of  renovation works at the city’s football stadium.

OSSIGENO regards this as reckless litigation and has therefore accepted the requests of both newspapers to assume their defence by entrusting it to the lawyer Andrea Di Pietro, coordinator of Ossigeno’s Legal Desk. In addition to facing a spurious dispute, the two newspapers have to incur greater defence costs to be represented in the court of Arezzo, a different city from the one in which they have their registered office.

THE CONTEXT – The entrepreneur from Bibbiena was actually investigated by the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Ravenna and on the 12th September 2018 his house was searched  as he was linked to one of the companies that had supplied the metal structure for the stadium grandstand. The Ferrara Prosecutor’s Office had identified him as the legal representative of the subcontractor responsible for producing the steelwork  for the roof of the north grandstand.

Subsequently, the businessman  demonstrated that he was unconnected to the matter  having left since June 2018 the company carrying out the works. He thus saw his case dismissed. The summons contests, inter alia, the fact that the newspapers from which he is seeking damages did not report this eventual outcome. In reality, and correctly reported the involvement of the entrepreneur in the judicial investigation based on information officially provided by the Ferrara Prosecutor’s Office, which was also published by other newspapers. Subsequently, as soon as they had news of it, and reported that the charges against the entrepreneur had been dropped.

THE LAWSUIT – Before filing the summons, the entrepreneur, through letters from his lawyer, had complained to the newspapers of not having published news of his case’s dismissal and had sent them a formal request for compensation for damages. Finally, on the 3rd July 2023 he served the summons indicating the value of the dispute as 40,000 euro.

The judge has invited the parties to appear before the Court of Arezzo for the hearing set for May 23rd  2024. is an independent newspaper, its publisher Scoop Media Edit is a small journalism cooperative formed by the same journalists who work on the newspaper. In recent years it has suffered various criticisms and complaints. Currently  the editor-in-chief of the newspaper, Marco Zavagli, who asked Ossigeno for assistance, is on trial for a lawsuit  from the mayor of Ferrara in reference to an editorial in which he criticized the Municipality’s communication expenses. In 2023, the Ossigeno per l’informazione  Observatory reported this legal action among the cases of threats and intimidation that occurred in Italy during that year.