Trial in Roma of U.S. journalist accused of grossly offending prosecuting magistrate

Kelly Duda is defended by the Ossigeno Legal Aid Office – In 2017 in Naples he commented the behaviour of a deputy prosecutor as disgraceful – Against the background of a scandal of infected blood transfusions

OSSIGENO January 25th  2022 – On Wednesday, January 19th  the first preliminary hearing of the criminal trial was held before the judge  Dr. Pantano sitting alone, at the Court in Rome, in which the American journalist and documentary maker Kelly Duda is accused of grossly insulting a magistrate during a hearing, committing the crime of outrage. The investigative journalist, author of a famous investigation into the scandal of infected blood also used in Italy for transfusions, is defended by the lawyer Andrea Di Pietro on behalf of the Free Legal Aid Office of Ossigeno per l’Informazione in collaboration with Media Defence. Read more here about “Kelly Duda, the infected blood scandal and the Factor 8 investigative video”.

THE NAPLES TRIAL – The deputy prosecutor of the Court of Naples Lucio Giugliano accused Kelly Duda in December 2017. That day the journalist had just been heard at the hearing as a witness in the trial that was held in the Neapolitan city against Duilio Poggiolini (former director of the Ministry of Health) and other defendants, all accused (and later acquitted) of serious offences related to the distribution of infected blood. Kelly Duda had been heard among the prosecuting witnesses as he had discovered important connections between the lethal blood and Arkansas prisons, where inmates, for a few dollars, donated blood without the appropriate checks.

THE INCIDENT – In Naples after the hearing, Kelly Duda greeted the prosecutor with a handshake but expressed his disappointment by telling him: “In my country what you did today as a prosecutor would be disgraceful”. He had said this while displaying an attitude that some witnesses at the hearing, answering questions from Duda’s defence counsel, defined as anything but offensive. But that day the prosecutor felt he was grossly offended and reacted immediately by denouncing the incident to the judge who was holding the hearing and obtained the temporary arrest of the journalist. Two years later Kelly Duda, who lives in the United States, was charged with the offence.

THE TESTIMONIES – At the hearing of January 19th 2022, several witnesses of the events in Naples stated that the journalist had maintained a calm and polite demeanour. In the next hearing, scheduled for July 13th 2022, the magistrate who has accused the journalist will answer questions from the judge and the defendant’s defence counsel.

Kelly Duda did not attend the first hearing (he is being tried in absentia). He told the British newspaper “The Guardian”:  “The prosecuting magistrate tried to prevent a witness like me from testifying and then he only asked me questions aimed at discrediting me. Am I now on trial for this? It’s astonishing but I can’t wait to defend myself “.

Read here the Guardian article

Read here other news on the activities of the Ossigeno Legal Aid Office

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