False accusations on Facebook: sentenced for libel

Sued by the journalist Mimmo Carrieri, the author of the Facebook post was initially acquitted in court and, six years after the event, sentenced in the Court of Appeal.

Six years after the publication of an offensive post on Facebook, a citizen of Sava (Taranto), Tommaso Massarelli was convicted of defamation against journalist Mimmo Carrieri, a collaborator of the web newspaper Viv @ Voce, who had sued him. Massarelli had denied the threats reported a few days earlier by Carrieri.

On June 17th 2019, the Court of Appeal of Lecce overturned the acquittal sentence at the first hearing and sentenced Tommaso Massarelli to pay damages to Carrieri and to pay three thousand euro of court costs. The amount of the compensation will be established in a civil court. The sentence at the first hearing that absolved the man from the accusation of defamation was issued on 16th November 2016 by the Court of Taranto.

THE FACTS – On the 19th June 2013, Mimmo Carrieri received a threatening letter with two bullets. Two days later, Masserelli – on his Facebook page and without explicitly referring to the collaborator of Viv @ Voce – had published a post critical of journalists. “Fake journalists who send themselves fake threats. Do you know how I caught on to you? From the Italian of the threatening letter, completely identical to the Italian of your articles ”. And again “Given all the shit that the subject in question usually distributes around, very often for the sake of feeling like a super hero, the fact that someone with a hot head gets pissed off seems physiological to me”.

Carrieri was informed of it by the chief editor and sued the author of the post for libel.

THE JUDGMENT – For the Court Masserelli defamed Carrieri with the “an explicit reference to the ” subject in question “, that is a person who two days earlier had reported to the Carabinieri that he had received an intimidating letter containing some bullets”. Furthermore, again in the ruling of the Court of Appeal, “the passage obtained offers full proof of the defamation”, against Carrieri because he is accused of “simulating a crime”.

Mimmo Carrieri said he was satisfied with the Appeal sentence and told Ossigeno: “I have to thank the police and in particular the Carabinieri, who are really very attentive to my and my family’s safety”, referring to the situation he has lived in for years now because of the threats he has received because.

Tommaso Massarelli is the brother of Giuseppe, formerly a municipal councillor of Sava (Taranto) who in the past has publicly insulted Carrieri.


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