SLAPPS. After 7 years a freelance journalist defended by Ossigeno is acquitted

Vanessa Valvo was sued by a parish priest who eventually withdrew the lawsuit – The reference to Mafia Capitale – Publishers, indemnity and legal fees

OSSIGENO March 1st 2022 – The freelance journalist Vanessa Valvo, sued for libel by a parish priest who was president of the Social Cooperative of Novara, was acquitted on January 26th 2022 by the Court of Biella following the withdrawal of the lawsuit in exchange for payment of a symbolic sum. Journalist Attilio Mattioni, chief editor of the weekly “L’altomilanese” who in 2015 had published the two articles by Vanessa Valvo, at the origin of the lawsuit, was also acquitted.

The OSSIGENO Free Legal Aid Office expressed great satisfaction. In judging the strategic value that this affair has in order to make known with factual evidence the use that is made in Italy of the right to sue, assisted Vanessa Valvo with legal advice and then, in collaboration with Media Defence, took up her defence in court through the lawyer Andrea Di Pietro, assisted by his colleague Silvia Gelpi.

THE FACTS – On the 16th and 30th January 2015 the weekly edited by Attilio Mattioni published two articles signed by Vanessa Valvo reporting that a Social Cooperative of Novara had been searched as part of the judicial investigations carried out to ascertain alleged ramifications of the companies involved in the large Rome investigation called “Mafia Capitale”. Those articles criticized the attitude of the Municipality of Turbigo (Milan) towards the Social Cooper ative, because the Municipality had not taken action regarding the concerns raised by that search ordered as part of an investigation into organized crime. The journalist had criticized the Municipality of Turbigo for re-affirming its trust in the Social Cooperative by renewing, also for 2015, the contract for the maintenance of public parks. The bidding envelopes of the participants in the tender were opened the day before the Special Operations Department of the national police searched the registered office of the Novara Cooperative. Four months later, on the 4th April 2015, the priest, at the time the legal representative of the cooperative, sued the journalist and the chief editor of the weekly “L’altomilanese”, considering those articles offensive to the Cooperative.

WITHDRAWAL OF THE COMPLAINT – After seven years, at the hearing on January 26th almost at the end of the trial, by making common sense prevail, the parish priest finally agreed to withdraw the complaint against the payment of a symbolic sum. This proposal for an amicable settlement of the trial was accepted both by the journalist Vanessa Valvo, relieved of any economic burden for the legal costs, and by the chief editor of the newspaper Ersilio Mattioni, who also bore the share due to him. The judge therefore issued the acquittal sentence for both defendants as the offence was eliminated by the remission of guilt and by the acceptance by the accused journalists.

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