Paolo Sarandrea was sued in 2006. After the bankruptcy of the publisher he continued to defend himself in court at his own expense.
The Free Legal Aid Office of Ossigeno per l’Informazione (see here) has granted a cash gratuity to the journalist Paolo Sarandrea.
Sued in 2006, the reporter was sentenced for libel in 2019, on appeal, despite the fact that the offence was beyond the statute of limitations. He was ordered to pay provisional compensation to the complainant. After the publisher’s bankruptcy, the journalist continued to defend himself in court at his own expense and eventually agreed to resolve the dispute with a costly settlement.
Paolo Sarandrea was sued 13 years ago by an employee of the Superintendency for Architectural Heritage of Rome as the author of three articles published in 2006 in the newspaper “Latina Oggi”, in which an environmentalist called into question that official for illegal behaviour (subsequently shown to be untrue) in the Municipality of Sperlonga (Latina). The plaintiff had asked for compensation of 80 thousand euro.
The publisher at the time, Giuseppe Ciarrapico, paid for the legal defence costs but only until he declared bankruptcy. At that point his commitments and joint responsibilities disappeared as has happened with other publishers, as continues to happen as a result of a serious legal vacuum that allows it and that the Italian Parliament has pledged though unsuccessfully to fill.
In the meantime, Paolo Sarandrea, like his other colleagues on “Latina Oggi” and on other newspapers, has had to pay the legal costs and the compensation also for those for which the publisher was responsible.
Ossigeno encourages journalists to put up resistance even when the publisher disappears and reminds groups in the Italian parliament that this long-standing unsolved problem continues to exist.