After six years, the claim ruled to have no merit. The deputy director of L’Espresso had been sued by Gaetano Armao for an article on salary limits
Six years after the event, the Rome Tribunal has absolved from the accusation of defamation in print the journalist Lirio Abbate, deputy director of L’Espresso who was defended by the barrister Paolo Mazza. Judge Roberta Di Gioia of the fourth penal section established that, “the claim has no merit”. The journalist had been prosecuted by the regional economics assessor of Sicily, Gaetano Armao, for an article entitled, “The Sicily Region: Salaries with no upper limit” published in L’Espresso in July 2012. Ossigeno had referred to the trial in 2016.
In that article the journalist had written that the Regional Council presided over by Raffaele Lombardo, “in order to ferry one of his assessors to the board of Serit which guarantees the payment .of taxes, had cancelled the ceiling for salaries fixed at 50,000 euro.”
To manage the tax collection company it appears it should be none other than the assessor Armao who was engaged in cutting regional expenditure.
At that time Armao was an assessor in the Regional Council headed by Raffaele Lombardo. Currently he has the same rôle in the Regional Council headed by Nello Musumeci and is also vice-president of the Region.
The precedents in Lazio – From 2011 until today in Lazio, Ossigeno has identified 720 serious violations of press freedom and freedom of expression committed by acts of violence or abuses towards journalists, bloggers, video operators, photo-journalists and editors whose names are published in the Observatory table. In 2017 141 names have been added to this list.