Italy. The strange case of a video maker attacked and sentenced for a slap
In 2014 Ines Conradi, from TeleReggio, while filming the scene of a road accident, was attacked and injured. One of the attackers was convicted. Another got his sentence from the justice of the peace
OSSIGENO March 29th 2022 – We tell the endless legal story of Ines Conradi, the TeleReggio video operator, because it demonstrates how complicated and risky the work of reporters who go around documenting the facts can be in Italy. Risky because they work in a climate of sizeable intolerance towards journalists, complicated because the legitimacy of their role as providers of information to citizens is not formally recognized.
This video reporter was attacked seven years ago, on the 19th October 2014, in Tincana di Carpineti in the province of Reggio Emilia while filming the scene of a road accident (see here Ossigeno). The family members of the person involved in the accident absolutely did not want to be filmed, and tried to prevent it by going from words to action despite being in a public place.
One of the attackers, Carlo Emore Severi attacked the video reporter and wounded her with a mushroom hunting knife, to prevent her from filming the car in which his wife had gone off the road.
Seven years later, in 2021, the Reggio Emilia Court sentenced this attacker to four months in prison (suspended sentence with parole) for personal violence. It also sentenced him to pay damages and to pay the court costs (read here).
His daughter, Elisabetta Severi, who brusquely struck Ines Conradi’s camera held by to prevent filming, was tried together with him, but was acquitted. Immediately afterwards she sued the reporter for damages, accusing Conradi of having attacked her in turn, giving her a slap without any reason, while the reporter claims to have reacted to defend herself following the blow struck against the equipment she was holding. On November 29th 2021, the justice of the peace of Reggio Emilia Elisabetta Freddi agreed with Elisabetta Severi and sentenced Ines Conradi to pay her compensation.
BACKGROUND – On the day of the attack Ines Conradi was sent by TeleReggio to the site of that road accident in order to include the images in a news report. Ines Conradi had just arrived when Elisabetta Severi approached her and told her not to film insisting that the incident “was a private matter”. And to prevent the scene from being shot she had brusquely moved the camera, risking damaging it. The camerawoman defended herself. The camera recorded the fight between the two women until the arrival of Elisabetta Severi’s father, who had raised the tone in a threatening way. “Get out of the way, get out of the way or I’ll kill you!” he had shouted and the phrase was recorded by the video camera. He was brandishing a mushroom hunting knife. Ines Conradi was injured on her side (video) and picked up healed facial trauma and bruises caused by a cold weapon with a 5-day prognosis. Elisabetta Severi also visited a doctor and was diagnosed with redness in one cheek that would heal in a day.
THE JUDGMENTS – Images and audio from the video-camera were examined by the police scientific branch of Parma and were submitted in the two trials, in which Ines Conradi was represented by the lawyer Giuseppe Benassi, TeleReggio’s lawyer. As a civil party in the criminal proceedings against the aggressor Carlo Emore Severi, the Court awarded Ines Conradi € 3,000 in compensation. Instead, in the civil trial pursued by Elisabetta Severi, Conradi was sentenced by the justice of the peace Elisabetta Freddi, for assault and to pay a fine of 440 euro, 1,500 euro of damages and 1,300 of legal costs of the other party. Her lawyer has announced an appeal against the first-degree sentence. Contacted by our editorial staff, Ines Conradi thanked Ossigeno for its interest in her story, maintaining that this episode is very representative of the violent situations which reporters encounter during the course of their work. Ines Conradi preferred not to make further comments, referring to what she said immediately after the sentence (read here).
THE EDITOR – Instead the editor of the news broadcast TgReggio, Gabriele Franzini, a witness in the two trials, released a statement. “I thank Ossigeno because it has decided to highlight this story, which is truly incredible. While she was working in a public space Ines was threatened and attacked with a knife. She defended herself with a slap and for this she will have to pay the daughter of her aggressor. It is a concept of justice that is difficult to accept “.
SOLIDARITY – Ossigeno expressed its solidarity with Ines Conradi and its appreciation for the legal and moral support that TeleReggio continues to guarantee to this reporter. This is a must but it does not happen often especially for freelancers and for those who do not work for the major publishing companies. LT
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