The prosecutor has already proposed dismissing the case. The case concerns disputed articles according to which the political leader asked migrants in for documents.
The lawsuit for libel filed in 2018 by the local secretary of the Lega party, Nicola Lodi, against the online newspaper estense.com for the content of some articles, published in April 2018, is being examined by the Court of Ferrara. The articles reported the statements of two individuals that the local political leader of the Lega allegedly stopped a migrant in the street and asked him to show his identity documents. Last August, the prosecutor sought to dismiss the lawsuit, as in his opinion the episode “does not in any way exceed the limits of relevance to an event of objective public interest and reasonable language in exposing the facts”. The plaintiff opposed it being set aside. On the 7th February 2019 the matter was examined in a preliminary hearing. The Judge reserved the right to decide.
The journalist has received expressions of solidarity from the Order of Journalists, the Regional Observatory on the journalistic profession of Emilia Romagna and some politicians.
The director of the online magazine, Marco Zavagli, told Ossigeno that Nicola Lodi defends himself by saying that he was conducting an investigation into the so-called powdered milk racket whereby some foreigners who could be part of a Nigerian Mafia ask for money in front of the pharmacies of Ferrara to buy powdered milk for needy people, while in reality they recycle it.
The journalists of estense.comalso report that, before presenting the lawsuit, Nicola Lodi, through a lawyer, had proposed to the newspaper to close the matter in an amicable way by paying 50 thousand euro within five days. After twenty-four hours the request had been raised to 100 thousand euro.