Also press freedom.
From Italian news agency ANSA:
Left-wing newspaper accuses premier of “Fascism”
Rome, September 2 – Premier Silvio Berlusconi is suing Italian newspaper L’Unita‘ for libel.
Berlusconi‘s lawyers sent the left-leaning daily a letter Wednesday asking for two million euros in damages for allegedly vilifying his personal life and performance as premier.
The letter cited articles by four of the paper’s journalists in addition to editor-in-chief Concita De Gregorio.
Another suggested that the premier’s staff had appealed to Catholic Church insiders to take a soft stance on the sex scandal which erupted afterwards. Also considered defamatory were articles alleging collusion between public broadcaster Rai and Berlusconi’s own Mediaset network against [Rupert Murdoch's] satellite TV provider Sky.
Lawyers contested quotes taken from television comic Luciana Littizzetto insinuating that Berlusconi used Viagra.
The letter called the jokes ”personally damaging” on the basis of representing Berlusconi as someone with erectile dysfunction, ”which he is not”.
L’Unita editors responded Wednesday with an appeal for solidarity from its readers saying that the lawsuit smacked of fascism and accusing Berlusconi of wanting to shut the paper down.
Founded by the father of Italian communism, Antonio Gramsci, L’Unita was long the official newspaper of the Italian Communist Party.
Today, it remains close to the left-wing opposition.
L’Unita is the fourth paper to be sued by Berlusconi for libel after Italian’s second leading daily La Republica, the French Nouvel Observateur and Spanish El Pais.
The lawsuit is the latest in an ongoing feud between the premier and left-leaning media outlets, who he blames for fueling the scandals which dogged him over the summer. In June, the Espresso group which owns La Repubblica filed suit against the premier for telling businesspeople to boycott advertising ”in certain newspapers”.
Tens of thousands of people, including journalists and media rights activists, gathered in a Rome square Saturday to defend press freedom, accusing Premier Silvio Berlusconi of trying to silence critical voices: here.
Venice film festival: here.
- Berlusconi sentenced to four years in prison (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- Italy Court Convicts Berlusconi of Tax Evasion (world.time.com)
- Ex-Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi sentenced to 4 years in prison (news.blogs.cnn.com)
- Silvio Berlusconi faces verdict in tax fraud case (independent.co.uk)
- Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi sentenced to a year in jail for tax fraud (independent.co.uk)
- Silvio Berlusconi four-year sentence quickly cut to one year (telegraph.co.uk)