Ossigeno & the strange case of Silvio Leoni

Solidarity is expressed with the journalist who suffered a search and the confiscation of his telephone and is under investigation for serious offences after a telephone call to a Bologna magistrate.

Ossigeno per l’Informazione (Oxygen for Information) expresses solidarity with the journalist Silvio Leoni; accused of serious offences, subjected to a search and confiscation of his mobile phone following his phone call to a Bologna magistrate (read here the news).

The Observatory hopes that this journalist will be in a position to defend himself against very serious accusations which, however, seem blatantly baseless.

Ossigeno has examined the case concerning him and has listened to the journalist’s version. In addition, Ossigeno has listened to the recording of the call to the magistrate and read the text of the WhatsApp message sent immediately afterwards by the journalist to the magistrate. It has also read the account from the Carabinieri that gave rise to the first confiscation order and the formulation of the first accusations.

On the basis of these elements, the Observatory has found an apparently unjustified use of judicial methods to determine whether the behaviour of the journalist exhibits the typical profiles of the serious criminal offences that are alleged.

The first serious fact that catches the eye, as evidenced already by the defence lawyers of Leoni, concerned the identification of two offences prosecutable only with a lawsuit without there being any lawsuit. Among other things, this seems to have happened way beyond the facts established by the police, as was evident in the Review.

On the basis of this faulty procedure a search was ordered which led to the seizure of his mobile phone and the acquisition of the data it contained: a highly invasive action which violated the journalist’s right to protect the secrecy of his confidential sources; an action that the European Court of Human Rights considers unjustified when it is not clearly and justifiably motivated by public security requirements.

To judge the merits of the new accusations, Ossigeno awaits the outcome of the new appeal to the Review Body, hoping that all the circumstances that give rise to concern are clarified there. At the same time, the Observatory hopes that these events do not directly or indirectly compromise the regular and calm conduct of the new trial underway in Bologna for the 1980 massacre at the station.


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