A reporter from il Mattino subject to searches and confiscation of her computer, both at home and in her office in Padua

Cristina Genesin is accused of violation of an investigation secret, and the director and deputy-director accused of a failure to control.

On the 3rd and 4th February 2017 the journalist Cristina Genesin, legal affairs correspondent of the daily Il Mattino di Padua, had published in two articles photos which depicted the son of the Mafia boss Toto Riina in a bar in Padua whilst he was meeting several individuals among whom someone with previous convictions. The photos had been taken by the carabinieri four years earlier to prove that the son of the Mafia boss had contacts in Veneto.

Sixteen months after the publication, on the 12th June 2018 the journalist, for those two articles, had been prosecuted for revealing a secret of an investigation in association with a public official with the aggravating factor of having helped a criminal organisation. In addition she had her mobile phones, her computers, storage media and other work-related documents confiscated.

The confiscation was carried out at the home of the journalist, during a house search ordered by the Venice District Antimafia division and conducted by GICO (the organised crime investigation group) of the financial police of Venice. The search was extended to the editorial offices of Il Mattino of Padua where the personal computer and other material of the journalist were confiscated.

The editor and deputy editor of the newspaper have been accused of a lack of control. All of them appealed to the court for reviews. Support for the reporter has been expressed by the journalists’ organisation of Veneto, Assostampa Veneto, FNSI and the editorial committee of Il Mattino of Padua. They “firmly condemn this action which is none other than an attack on press freedom, on reporter confidentiality and the protection of sources. The alleged offence – the leaders of the journalists’ union – declare is to say the least disconcerting; journalists are not to be blocked by a repressive measure like this.”

On the 15th June the president of the FNSI, Beppe Giuletti together with several representatives of the Veneto journalists union and the Assostampa of Padua went to the editorial offices of Il Mattino di Padua to express their support of and closeness to the reporter and he announced the intention, “to ask for a meeting with CSM to defend the professional confidentiality of journalists.”

RDM

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