Palermo: a lawsuit against Accursio Sabella for stalking has been dismissed

The journalist is chief editor of LiveSicilia. The investigating judge has considered groundless the accusation made by the director of the Federico II Foundation.

On December 20th , 2018 – the judge for preliminary investigations of Palermo, Fabrizio Molinari has set aside the complaints, considering them unfounded, filed by the director of the Federico II Foundation and former Secretary General of the Presidency of the Sicilian Region, Patrizia Monterosso, against the journalist at present chief editor of the daily LiveSicilia, Accursio Sabella.

The accusations brought against the reporter were not only for defamation but also for stalking that was allegedly committed by the journalist in the exercise of his work through an activity considered by Monterosso as persecution. The allegations of harassment and extortion also appeared in the complaints.

Last summer, the prosecutor’s office had requested that the proceedings be closed. Monterosso opposed this request of the prosecuting magistrate Federica La Chioma, making a hearing necessary that was held on the 8th November 2018. The serious accusations against the journalist were definitively rejected by the investigating magistrate.

The lawyer Marcello Montalbano, defence counsel of the journalist, expressed “great satisfaction with this ruling that clearly endorses the absolute professionalism of the reporter accused by the manager”. The attorney Montalbano then pointed out how the judge in his ruling has underlined many times all the activities of Sabella, disputed by the bureaucrat, fully respect the norms of correct information.

In the ruling, inter alia, the investigating judge said: “Sabella has always respected the truthfulness of the news, the public interest in the dissemination of the same and the appropriateness of the expressions used”. Sabella has therefore simply written the truth and in a correct way. And again, the judge added, “it is true that Monterosso was condemned by the Court of Auditors as well as at the time of publication of the articles, a criminal proceeding for the right of embezzlement was also pending against her”. The investigating judge not only expressed a view on the merits of the articles, but also on the form: “The vocabulary used by the journalist Sabella has never taken on offensive, insulting and disrespectful tones “. In the judgement , the magistrate also goes into the detail of individual articles, to confirm the good will and accuracy of the work of the journalist. The same applies to the crime of stalking. The judge writes for example, “The media attention on Patrizia Monterosso – always in her capacity as a senior regional official , is even more accentuated by the fact that the same individual has been involved in legal proceedings of a certain gravity”. (ANSA)

ASP (wt)

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