Court reweighing defamation charge against journalist

Sallusti case has rallied journalists against jail term

Court reweighing defamation charge against journalist

(ANSA) - Rome, September 26 - In a surprise move, defence lawyer Vincenzo Lo Giudice Wednesday withdrew his request for a postponement in the defamation case of Alessandro Sallusti, editor of the Berlusconi family newspaper Il Giornale. And at the same time, the prosecution says that although Sallusti is guilty of defamation, there are extenuating circumstances that should be considered. The case - which has aroused freedom-of-expression protests from Italian journalists - is expected to be decided on Wednesday by Italy's top court of appeal, the Court of Cassation. Sallusti is appealing an earlier sentence from June 2011 of 14 months in jail for defamation in comments made by a journalist in another rightwing paper he edited, Libero, about Italian judge Giuseppe Cocilovo. Italian journalists of all leanings have said the jail term is excessive, even if the journalist's comments were libellous.

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