There is a risk that time will run out for the prosecution for threats made to Federica Angeli

A new trial is called for because the judge has asked for Armando Spada to be charged with a more serious offence and has petitioned the Rome prosecutor.

On the 15th May 2018 the judge of the Rome Tribunal who should have issued a judgement responding to a request of the justice ministry to sentence Armando Spada to a one year imprisonment for the threats to the journalist Federica Angeli, stated that the behaviour of the accused on the 23rd May 2013 in Ostia, really constituted a more serious offence; that of violence against an individual. Hence the judge stopped the trial and has asked the Prosecutor of the Republic to level a new charge. As a consequence it will have to take place in a new trial.

The decision in itself has been welcomed. It is another sign of the greater consideration that the magistracy is giving to violence against journalists. But immediately it was pointed out that the new trial, starting from zero, risks in all probability ending without any sentence, because of the expiry of the time in which a prosecution can take place, which is quite soon.

The risk will be reduced if the Rome Procura charges the accused with circumstances aggravated by Mafia methods (foreseen by article 7 D.L 13th May 1991 n.152, put into law on the 12th July 1991 no.203). According to several lawyers this is possible, considering that in this specific case the violence was accompanied by conduct which specifically call to mind the intimidating force deriving from the context. The decision rests with the Roma Procurator, Giuseppe Pignatone who has received, in recent days, a petition regarding this.

The daily newspaper, La Repubblica reported that the petition by the 19th May had been signed by a thousand individuals.


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