The journalist of La Repubblica has confirmed in court the accusations against the man who in 2013 threatened her and two video operators. Since then the reporter lives under police protection
On February 19, 2018 the journalist Federica Angeli testified against Armando Spada, accused of threats and private violence against him. He told in detail to the judges of the Court of Rome the threats she suffered along with the two video operators who were with her. He did so with visible emotion, but with her head held high, showing courage and a sense of civic sense.
The reporter of La Repubblica has been under police protection for more than four years precisely because of those threats. She was threatened in 2013, in Ostia, while conducting a journalistic investigation in the field, exclusively, on the infiltration of organized crime. At that time, neither the magistracy nor the press had yet turned on the spotlight on that part of Rome.
For over a year, not even her newspaper published the news that she lived under protection, as Ossigeno pointed out (read). The case of Federica Angeli became known in all its implications, showing everyone that she had been threatened because of her work and not for other reasons, only after the great journalistic investigation of the weekly magazine called “The Four Kings of Rome” and after the judicial investigation “Mafia Capitale” that deepened the facts revealing a political-business-criminal interweaving in which the clan of Ostia also played a leading role.
“I paid with my personal freedom, but I think it was good for something,” Federica Angeli told her journalist colleagues, on the day of her testimony, before entering the courtroom. “Also thanks to my complaints – she added – everyone now knows the reality of Ostia. I would do it all over again. Today it is right to be here. In that hall I will be at the witness stand, but with me there will be all the citizens”.
In front of the Court of Rome, that day, to give her courage, there was a garrison of journalists, organized by FNSI, the Order of Journalists and Usigrai, as a sign of solidarity. There were the Fnsi general secretary, Raffaele Lorusso, and the president, Giuseppe Giulietti; the Order of Journalists, with President Carlo Verna and Secretary Guido D’Ubaldo; Usigrai, Articolo21, Order of Lazio Journalists, Roman Press Association, NoBavaglio Network, high school students; representatives of Libera contro le Mafie; the chief editor of La Repubblica, Mario Calabresi, and the Deputy Chief Editor, Sergio Rizzo; the director of Fanpage, Francesco Piccinini.
Then, in court, before the judges, Federica deposed for an hour, answering questions, reconstructing the threatening behavior of Armando Spada against him.
On 23 May 2013, Federica Angeli, together with two video cameras, carrying out an investigation on behalf of her newspaper, went to the Orsa Maggiore bathhouse in Ostia, to ask for explanations on a strange change in management of that beach concession and she found herself locked in a room and threatened.
“I was with two operators, with two cameras. I began to ask questions, but when Spada and his partner, Cosimo Appeso, saw the red LED on the camera turned on, the commotion began. I was afraid. They told us to give him the camera. The operator refused and said: “Otherwise what are you going to do?”. At that point Armando Spada took the gun-shaped hand and said: “Otherwise I’ll shoot you in the head”. They ordered us to delete the recorded images, continued Federica Angeli, and they reassured them only after the operator pressed the keys to do that operation. “Then Armando Spada brought me to a room: ‘Who sends you?’ He asked me. There was also Cosimo Appeso. I was afraid he would “burst” again. They only let me go when they were sure that the registration had been canceled. The operator had made him believe so, but it was not like that.”
Those images were published on Repubblica.it showing unequivocally what had happened.
Federica Angeli lives under police protection since 17 July 2013. Two days earlier, on the night of 15 July, she had been a random eyewitness to a gunfight in which characters from the same racket environment were involved. Asked by the Carabinieri, Angeli told what she had seen and, from that day on, intimidation and threats became more serious.
“The prefect called my newspaper – the journalist said in court – and in a short time my life has changed. Since that day I have not had the same freedom as before”, she explained. “Since then I have to always travel under protection. I can not even look at the balcony of my house. I have three children. Explaining it to my children has been difficult. Everything has changed for them too. I cannot even take them to get ice cream”.