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Four reporters, two newspaper editors indicted for slander

In articles on prosecutor Laudati, indicted for abuse of office

25 February, 19:45
Four reporters, two newspaper editors indicted for slander (ANSA) - Lecce, February 25 - A city prosecutor on Tuesday indicted four journalists and two newspaper editors for defaming former Bari city prosecutor Antonio Laudati, while also indicting Laudati himself on charges of abuse of office and abetting a suspect.

Laudati, who currently works at the Rome district attorney's office, is accused of illicitly probing fellow magistrates Giuseppe Scelsi and Desiree Digeronimo, as well as helping Bari businessman Gianpaolo Tarantini elude investigation for allegedly supplying ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi with 26 female escorts in 2008 and 2009.

Tarantini was successfully indicted in November 2013, and is currently on trial in Bari.

The same prosecutor also indicted investigative reporter and photographer Gianni Lannes for allegedly damaging the reputations of Laudati, Puglia region Governor Nichi Vendola, and Vendola's former cabinet chief Francesco Manna, in an article on regional financing of a conference on justice Laudati organized in Bari. The article ran on L'Indro online independent daily.

Lannes specializes in investigating the links between organized crime and toxic waste dumping as well as arms and human trafficking. The interior ministry had assigned him a bodyguard in late 2009 after repeated threats from the mafia. The protection detail was withdrawn in 2011, even though the threats continued, including sabotage of his wife's car, L'Indro reported.