The most serious charge, that of extortion, falls. While for defamations comes a sentence of 1 year and 5 months for Pino Maniaci, the journalist from Telejato, known for his anti-mafia battles through the small television station. The sentence, pronounced today shortly after 6 pm, came after five years of proceedings and about 8 hours in the council chamber. The single judge of the Palermo court, Mauro Terranova, reads the device in a few minutes but “behind closed doors”, due to the covid emergency.
In the courtroom only the accused, the lawyers Antonio Ingroia and Bartolomeo Parrino, the prosecutor Amelia Luise who, last December, at the end of the indictment had asked for a sentence of 11 and a half years of imprisonment, the carabinieri, the chancellery officials and an authorized television crew. The judge ordered the acquittal with full formula for extortion crimes while he sentenced the accused for the crimes of defamation with compensation for the civil parties to be quantified in civil proceedings and an executive provisional always for the civil parties.
In the end, outside the courthouse, Pino Maniaci is a river in flood and does not send them to say: “A beautiful figure of m. For the Prosecutor. In recent years I have been destroyed, they wanted to destroy my television but not they succeeded. And I’ll continue to be a journalist“. He adds, again:” They have been five difficult years but now or castle of accusations has disintegrated – he says – the accusation of extortion for a journalist is very heavy “.
“Trust in the Court of Palermo and in justice seriously jeopardized after a request for a conviction in some indecent way has been restored – said the former prosecutor. Antonio Ingroia, now Pino Maniaci’s lawyer and defender – but Maniaci has the right not only to be compensated for the damage suffered, but to be given back six years of destroyed life, his honor and professional reputation unworthily canceled. Six years of media pillory remain, they are too many and constitute an indictment against those who accused him, some lightly, others with instrumentality, others still in bad faith“.
“Our appeal is obvious – says the other lawyer Bartolomeo Parrino – with which we will clarify what, in our opinion, the judge has not framed correctly. We await the filing of the reasons within 90 days”. The reporter has always rejected all accusations. He became “famous” for his anti-mafia battles and insights into the management of confiscated assets, in particular on the section ‘Prevention measures led at the time by judge Silvana Saguto, ends up involved in an investigation in 2016.
According to the accusation, Maniaci – intercepted by the carabinieri – would have asked for money from Except Lo Biundo and Gioacchino De Luca, mayors of the municipalities of Partinico and Borgetto and in exchange he would not have “attacked” them in the media, he would have been more “soft”. Furthermore, according to the accusation, he would have imposed the purchase of 2000 T-shirts with the Telejato logo on a Borgetto councilor.
In the courtroom the latter denied the pressures and threats as did the mayor of Partinico. On February 9, during his speech, the lawyer Ingroia, rejecting the accusations, argued: “The prosecutor has read this story upside down. Pino Maniaci has resisted corruption: he went his own way and tried to punish him. There was a manipulation of the video in which it is filmed. All an operation to save soldier Saguto “.