Despite a wave of arrests in Syracuse, the media talked only about ENI

The initiative of the magistrates involved individuals featured in the shocking investigation published in 2011 by a small newspaper in the town

The astounding operation conducted by the public prosecutors of Rome and Messina which on the 6th February 2018 led to the Guardia di Finanza arresting 15 individuals among whom a magistrate (Giancarlo Longo, former prosecuting magistrate of the Procura of Syracuse who then obtained house arrest) made sensational news in the national newspapers for the discovery of the organisers of a scheme to distract, with a phony plot against the managing director of ENI, the investigation.

Little attention was paid, instead, to the no less interesting Syracusan side of the same law enforcement operation which highlighted an important background to the affair uncovered right from 2011 by journalists of the fortnightly Syracusan magazine La Civetta di Minerva which revealed a network of “interesting” relationships between magistrates, lawyers and businessmen.

In fact, among the arrests of the 6th February 2018 there are individuals who were identified as having an important role in the affair denounced exclusively and solitarily in December 2011 by journalists of the Syracusan magazine.

These articles highlighted unclear business relationships and connections between magistrates, lawyers and businessmen. The investigation of La Civetta gave rise to several parliamentary questions and in 2012 led the Minister of Justice Paola Severino to send inspectors to the Procura of Syracuse and, following the inspection, to adopt very severe measures towards the head and several deputies of that Procura.

For having published those articles which gave rise to the inspection, the journalists of La Civetta were isolated, denigrated, sued for defamation and accused of conspiracy. Many of the accusations were held to be unfounded by the judges and three years later were dropped. But three journalists (the editor Franco Oddo, the deputy editor Marina Di Michele and Carmelo Maiorca) are still on trial. For Maiorca the charge of criminal association has been dropped but the one for defamation is still there.

It was again up to the same journalists of La Civetta to expose the Syracusan side of the major investigation in the issue of the weekly published on the 16th February which contained a substantial dossier on the operation of the prosecutors of Messina and Rome.

ASP (wt)

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