Six newspapers cited for damages by the Municipality of Sperlonga
The Municipal Council has appointed a lawyer. At the centre of the dispute are articles about a trial of the mayor, accused of illegal land sub-division. 20,000 euros damages have been demanded from a blogger
On May 9th, 2019 the Sperlonga Town Council engaged a lawyer to pursue civil actions for damages, against the newspapers, Latina Oggi, il Messaggero, Il Fatto Quotidiano, La Repubblica, the Latina Tu website and the Antonino Caponnetto Associazione. The administrators maintained it was necessary to protect the image of the municipality, muddied, in their opinion, by the articles that appeared in the newspapers regarding the trial of the mayor of Sperlonga, Armando Cusani, the former municipal official Antonio Faiola and the architect Luca Conte, charged with the illegal sub-division of land as part of the Comprehensive Plan.
Journalists were accused of having published a dossier compiled by the police, according to which organized crime had an interest in the procedure for the approval of the Comprehensive Plan. The Council’s resolution states that “These articles – conflate the realization of the “Comprehensive Plan ” of Sperlonga with a speculative building operation, financed through the use of illicit capital by persons linked in various ways to the Camorra, the organised crime syndicate of Campania to the detriment of the public interest”.
On May 20th as a sign of solidarity with the journalists and on the initiative of the Rome press association, a sit-in was held at the Palazzo di Giustizia of Latina, where a hearing of the trial took place. A statement issued by the union declared, “We want to reiterate, with our presence in the courtroom, the right to carry out our work as reporters with serenity and without pressuring.”
The demand made to the blogger Bassoli – Furthermore, on May 22nd , the owner of the Latina Tu blog, Bernardo Bassoli, received an application from the lawyer of an architect, cited in some articles in the context of the Comprehensive Plan of the Municipality of Sperlonga for the immediate “cancellation of the article”, or of a “modification, removing any reference to the architect, also on social networks and any telematic platforms where it has been reproduced and shared, and to compensate, within eight days of receipt of the application, the damages suffered and still suffering due to the facts indicated above, the amount of Euro 20,000.00”.
The news was reported by the Roman Press (read here). The architect, an official of the Superintendence and a member of the Integrated Building Commission, composed among others by Cusani, was resentful because Bassoli revealed the architect’s purchase of two houses among those built in the disputed plan. In 2001, the Commission had approved subsidized housing projects presented by some cooperatives. The architect had then bought two houses and sold one to third parties.
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