Italy: Two journalists jailed for libel

Two Italian journalists have been sentenced to four months in prison and fined 15,000 Euros (11,700 GBP) for libel. Orfeo Donatini and Tiziano Marson, of newspaper Alto Adige, were convicted in June of alleging in a 2008 article that local politician Sven Knoll had taken part in a neo-Nazi summit. The claim was based on a police report and appeared in weekly magazine L’Espresso. Knoll lodged a criminal defamation complaint, and although the journalists were acquitted, the case was reviewed by the court of cassation and referred back to the Bolzano city tribunal. In a statement, press freedom organisation Article 19 said criminal defamation provisions in Italy’s Penal Code were “incompatible” with international standards of freedom of expression.