Libel. New ones and old criminal trials against Marilù Mastrogiovanni for articles on Mafia

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Now she is charged again from the former mayor of Casarano (Lecce) –  The aftermath of the 2006 investigation into the “marketing of the Sacra Corona Unita” crime syndicate

OSSIGENO May 28th 2021 – Two investigating magistrates of the Court of Lecce have asked for the compulsory indictment of the journalist Marilù Mastrogiovanni, chief editor of the investigative newspaper “Il Tacco d’Italia”. She is being sued again for libel by the former mayor of Casarano (Lecce), Gianni Stefano.

The judges have instructed the prosecutors to formulate the charge against her. After the investigation, prosecutors had asked for the case to be dismissed as insufficient evidence had been found to support the accusation in a trial.

THE 2006 INQUIRY – The journalist, founder and chief editor of the newspaper “Il Tacco d’Italia”, has already suffered from numerous vexatious complaints following the publication of a series of investigations into the “marketing of the Sacra Corona Unita “, the crime syndicate in southern Puglia. Most of these complaints have proved unfounded and have already been dismissed.

AFTER THE SEIZURE OF THE NEWSPAPER – A dozen criminal proceedings, arising from as many lawsuits, were brought together in the trial that followed the seizure of the newspaper, ordered by the investigating judge Giovanni Gallo of the Lecce Court at the request of the prosecutor Stefania Mininni.

The lawsuits were initiated between 2016 and 2020 by the legal representatives and owners of the holding company Igeco spa, into which Marilù Mastrogiovanni described mafia infiltrations. It should be remembered that Igeco, after those investigations by Il Tacco d’Italia, was put under the control of a government appointed agency because of those mafia infiltrations and now the Court of Lecce has decreed its bankruptcy.

THE MUNICIPAL FRONT – Other lawsuits against the journalist were presented by the former mayor of Casarano (Lecce), Gianni Stefàno, by the entire municipal council of Casarano and by the municipal councillor Gigi Loris Stefàno, elected from the personal list of the mayor, and defined by the investigators in a report, as “very close to” and “echoing” the Potenza criminal clan.

THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF A CRIME – The trial following the seizure of the “Tacco d’Italia” has finally reached the first level of judgment and Marilù Mastrogiovanni was acquitted because “there is no evidence of a crime”. The reasoning of judge Fabrizio Malagnino, of the Court of Lecce, is still awaited, who simultaneously tried and acquitted the individuals who had threatened Mastrogiovanni with sexist insults on social media and through posters. In the trial Ossigeno was admitted as a civil party.

THE DECLARATIONS OF THE OLD BOSS – The two compulsory charges, on the other hand, concern certain aspects related to the “marketing of the Sacra Corona Unita” investigation: both arose from two lawsuits by the former mayor of Casarano Gianni Stefano.

One concerns an article by Mastrogiovanni in which the statements of the boss of the Sacra Corona Unita, Tommaso Montedoro, now a collaborator with the justice system, are reported. He has acknowledged both the request for electoral support to the clan by some political exponents of Casarano, and the request that the clan put pressure on politicians so that the project for a waste composting plant, presented to the Municipality of Casarano by family members of a rival clan to that of Montedoro, would not be approved. In the wire-tapping by the police there are conversations between a city councillor and the boss Augustino Potenza, who cites the articles by Mastrogiovanni relating to the composting plant of the rival clan.

POLITICAL-MAFIAN DYNAMICS – Since 2006 the journalist has suffered numerous threats for having described the political-mafia dynamics of southern Puglia. Among other things, she unveiled the system of “Chinese boxes” used by the Rosafio family of the Scarlino clan, a clan antagonistic to that of Potenza and Montedoro. All this happened while the boss Giuseppe Scarlino, known as Pippi Calamita, one of the founders of the Sacra Corona Unita is serving several life sentences under a strict prison regime

POSTERS AGAINST HER – The second compulsory accusation, on the other hand, concerns an interview that Mastrogiovanni gave to the state broadcaster Tg1, the day after the notification from the Prefect of Lecce of the increase in protection measures for her. The lawsuit was filed by the former mayor of Casarano and, incredibly, Mastrogiovanni will have to prove that she has been placed under some form of protection after the posting of posters against her, signed “the Stefàno Administration”. 


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