The Sallusti case

The editor of ilGiornale, Alessandro Sallusti, has received today morning the warrent of house arrest

Traduzione a cura di Laura Lesèvre

The warrent of house arrest has been received. The grounds of the Italian Court of Appeal have been deposited.

The editor of the Italian newspaper ilGiornale, Alessandro Sallusti, has officially renounced alternative measures. He is ready to go to jail, beacuse of a libel law, that the politics never wanted to change.

Considering editor's risk of going to jail for a crime, that in no other European country is punished with the imprisonment, a short summary of the situation may be useful.


The 18th February 2007, the daily newspaper Libero publishes an article by Andrea Monticone, and a comment, signed with the pseudonym Dreyfus (that covered the name of Renato Farina, as he himself confessed at the Parliament, but only after Sallusti’s definitive judgment) discussing the vicissitudes – published the day before by La Stampa – of a 13 years old girl who got pregnant, was authorized to abort by the Torino’s court and ended up in a psychiatric clinic due to the consequences of the vicissitude.

In the Dreyfus’ comment, the author wrote "if the death penalty were in use and if it ever it applied to a circumstance, this one would be it – for the parents, for the gynaecologist, for the judge". Of the three, the last one took offence and viewed it as libel. This person is the judge Giuseppe Cocilovo, who is however not mentioned in the article ( nor in the article from La Stampa).

The Bar presents a lawsuit. No investigation to locate the real author of the comment is done, no rectification is published. The person writing the comment being unknown, the responsibility falls on the editor of Libero (that is, at the time, Alessandro Sallusti).

The lawsuit is brought to court. The 26th January 2009, the Milan’s court in the first stage of the proceedings  fines Monticone to pay 5,000 euro and Sallusti to pay 4,000 euro. Sallusti is sentenced for omitted control, as well as for libel (offense covered in the article 595 of the criminal code and in the article 13 of the law of 8 February 1948, n. 47, that provide imprisonment from one to six years in addition to the fine). In the grounds for judgement, the judge regrets not to have made provisions for detention.

Judge Cocilovo and the Public Prosecution appeal. The first section’s sentence is given on the 17th June 2011. However, neither the Libero’s counsel for the defence (who almost never appears in court as a rule) nor his assistant are present in the courtroom.
Therefore, the attorney acting in the court of Appeal is a counsel appointed by the court, called in at the last minute. The judgment of the Court of Appeal radically changes the one passed in the first stage of the proceedings: a year’s probation to Monticone, a year and two months without probation to Sallusti.
The reason why Sallusti is not granted a probation is the omitted control connected with the libel (judicial precedents concerning sentences liable of pardon or changed to fines). Basically, the judge of the Court of Appeal redresses the regret about the detention of his first stage’s colleague. The sentence explains that the probation is denied  “according to the article 133 of the criminal code”, that is due to the “danger” and the risk that, should the person be left free, he might commit other dreadful crimes. “In the case of Sallusti, it is not possible to state optimistically that he will abstain in the future from new criminal actions, in consideration of his numerous past sentences for similar offences ”, states the sentence. A ridiculous ground for judgement, since any newspaper director undergoes many sentences for omitted control, an offence of negligence. Hence the probation’s denial.

Then comes the day of the Supreme Court’s sentence. The judges of the fifth criminal stage confirms the 14 months sentence. The Court, chaired by Aldo Grassi, after a consultation of around two and a half hours, rejects the appeal from Sallusti’s counsel for the defence without taking into any account even the general extenuating circumstances requested by the Supreme Court’s  Public Prosecutor, (despite his role of prosecution) Gioacchino Izzo that might have lead to a reduction of the penalty. Sallusti is also sentenced to the reimbursement of the legal costs, the payment of an indemnity to the interested party and the payment of 4,500 euro in judgment’s costs.

According to the Supreme Court, the news published by Libero “were false”, since "the young girl had not at all been forced to abort, but had herself so decided and the intervention on the part of the judge had been made necessary only by the fact that, though having her mother consent, the girl did not have the one of her father she was not in good relation with and whom she did not wish to communicate her decision to".

The grounds for judgement  of the Supreme Court’s sentence, lodged in court the 23rd October 2012, additionally state that the detection measure is “exceptional, but legitimate” and arises from the “strong capacity of committing crimes” of the offender, deriving from the “media pillory and libellous campaign” against judge Cocilovo.

The 19th October 2012, Sallusti receives the imprisonment order.

Today, the Digos has entered the headquarter of ilGiornale and Sallusti has received a warrant of house arrest.



Lun, 26/11/2012 - 15:57

What a great idea an english version of that newspaper. A place where people of other nations can read what happens in Italy. About that... Our political class had stolen all our wealth and works for avoiding we can create new wealth. Please destroy our socialist constitution and if you can destroy also our political class WE, THE PEOPLE, will be forever grateful. Thanks a lot.


Lun, 26/11/2012 - 17:20

pure in inglese raccontate frottole. dove sta scritto che dreyfus/agente betulla/farina ha scritto il falso dicendo che il giudice ha costretto la ragazzina ad abortire?

Ritratto di pacioccone


Lun, 26/11/2012 - 19:55 sa leggere?

Ritratto di pacioccone


Lun, 26/11/2012 - 19:56

Sallusti questa roba la deve far pubblicare su un giornale estero, inutile lo faccia qui inglese

Ritratto di pacioccone


Lun, 26/11/2012 - 19:57

anzi propongo un'edizione inglese del giornale, come già testate di altre nazioni non di madrelingua anglosassone fanno.

lo zio di zio fester

Lun, 26/11/2012 - 23:04



Mar, 27/11/2012 - 12:20

@pacioccone... dove sarebbe scritto che è stata costretta ad abortire come scritto da Agente Betulla, in questo passo che copio-incollo qui? "In the Dreyfus’ comment, the author wrote "if the death penalty were in use and if it ever it applied to a circumstance, this one would be it – for the parents, for the gynaecologist, for the judge". Forse lei allude al pezzo in basso dove si cita la sentenza? E' ben diverso e reticente, in puro Il Giornale style

Ritratto di venividi


Mar, 27/11/2012 - 13:49

Chi ha fatto la traduzione in inglese di questo articolo ? E' una traduzione automatica spero.

Ritratto di venividi


Mar, 27/11/2012 - 15:00

Scusate, no! Sto seguendo un altro forum che è aperto contemporaneamente, questa va benissimo! Mi cospargo la tesa di cenere. Ecco cosa succede, quando si va nel multifunzionale.


Mar, 27/11/2012 - 20:01

Dear Sallusti, what a shame would be for our country if the unjust acts against you should not be quickly redressed!! Let us hope for a fast lane to a new law!! Do not surrender! Tenga duro! Stefano Rosso - Modena