L’Aquila. Former councilor sue journalist and mayor, General Prosecutor dismisses case

The plaintiff claimed that a post by the Municipality and an article of “Il Messaggero” to be slanderous and defamatory. After a trial lasting two years the judge ruled the accusations “unfounded”

OSSIGENO 8th July 2021 – – The General Prosecutor of the Court of L’Aquila, Stefano Iannaccone, on the 4th  June 2021 dismissed the lawsuit for slander and defamation filed two years earlier against the mayor of the city, Pierluigi Biondi, and the journalist Stefano Dascoli de ‘Il Messaggero” by the former city councilor for culture, Sabrina Di Cosimo.

THE CASE – On February 17th  2019, in an article published by  “Il Messaggero”, the journalist  reported that the councilor Sabrina Di Cosimo had had a violent quarrel with a municipal employee, an event he had learned of through sources within the Municipality . This quarrel, adding to other episodes, had led the mayor Biondi (before the publication of the Dascoli article) to revoke the council responsibilities of Sabrina Di Cosimo, for her “conduct not in keeping with the role she covered”. An explanatory post was also published on the Facebook page of the Municipality. Stefano Dascoli’s article and the mayor’s post had been the subject of the lawsuit by Sabrina Di Cosimo, who opposed the case dismissal requested by the prosecutor twice.

THE JOURNALIST – Stefano Dascoli, who was assisted by the defence lawyer Marcello Melandri, told Ossigeno that he had calmly awaited the conclusion of the trial against him, certain that he had acted with absolute professional correctness and preferring not to add other comments.

THE CASE DISMISSAL – The magistrate Iannaccone considered both the accusations against both the mayor and the journalist “unfounded”, and dismissed the case. In particular, he highlighted that the journalist did not convey a defamatory message, “but rather provided a clarification of the charges made against Di Cosimo, hitherto described only generically in the revocation decree, not likely to be regarded as mere hearsay “. 

LT

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