Media News - Thursday, August 09, 2012
Two journalists working for an Italian daily newspaper have been sentenced to four months in prison on a charge of criminal defamation. Orfeo Donatini and Tiziano Marson, respectively a reporter and editor of the newspaper Alto Adige, were convicted of defaming a politician in an article published in 2008. Alto Adige is published in the city of Bolzano in the south Tyrol. A report written by Donatini alleged that Sven Knoll, a member of Bolzano's provincial council, had participated in a neo-Nazi summit. The claim was based on a police report and also appeared in Italy's national weekly, L'Espresso. Knoll complained that he had been defamed and lodged a criminal defamation complaint. The journalists were initially acquitted but the case was reviewed by the court of cassation, and referred back to the Bolzano tribunal. On 20 June, Donatini and Marson were convicted of "defamation through the press", sentenced to four months in prison and ordered to pay EUR 15,000 in compensation. Their cause has been taken up by the London-based human rights organisation, Article 19, which has been campaigning for some time against the criminal defamation provisions in the Italian penal code. (Article 19/IFEX via The Guardian)
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