5th Nov., 2008 - Dismissal of the charge of slander: “the fact in question does not constitute a crime”.
With these words the Preliminary Hearing Judge in Ancona (
Italy) dismissed the charge of slander against Dr Lorita Tinelli (President of the Ce.S.A.P. – Centre of Studies on Psychological Abuse) and two former followers of the Arkeon group, after their participation in the TV programme “Every morning”, hosted by the journalist Maurizio Costanzo.
Further to that, in April 2006 a still unspecified number of Arkeon members (both “Masters” and “followers”) – more than a hundred, according to unofficial sources –
over the span of a week had repeatedly sued Dr Lorita Tinelli and the two people who had appeared in the above-mentioned TV programme. The actions were brought to several Public Prosecutors’ offices.
There had already been a first important dismissal of the charge by the Public Prosecutor in Monza, who had claimed that the actions brought by an Arkeon “Master” to the Public Prosecutor’s office in
Rome were illegitimate. In the past few months there had been another dismissal of the charges brought to the Public Prosecutor’s office in
The Public Prosecutor in
Rome, Dr Fabio Santoni, asking the Investigating Magistrate for the dismissal, stated that what the alleged slanderers had said during the TV programme was absolutely not detrimental to the honour and the reputation of the plaintiffs.
Moreover, they hadn’t used any harsh or offensive words, never overstepping the limits of moderation. In addition, the Public Prosecutor emphasized that during the TV programme “the accusations” of the alleged slanderers were mainly brought against the followers of the group who, on the contrary, had been defined as “psychologically frail people”, totally dominated by the “Masters” who had taken advantage of them. And even the self-proclaimed Masters themselves, who had no certified qualifications whatsoever, were not legally entitled to sue anybody.
The Investigating Magistrate, Dr Marcello Liotta, referring to the Public Prosecutor’s argument, which he shared completely, considered the charge groundless, because there were no sound reasons to prosecute anybody.
After thoroughly reading the documents of the trial and after listening both to the counsel for the defence and to the plaintiffs, today the Preliminary Hearing Judge in Ancona has also come to the conclusion that the charge of slander must be dismissed because the three people sued had simply presented the facts, in a calm and self-controlled tone. Moreover, in the same preliminary hearing, some Arkeon members had sued for damages – really large sums of money – Dr Lorita Tinelli and the two other people involved.
The Preliminary Hearing Judge himself rejected their claims that the expenses should be charged to Dr Lorita Tinelli and to the two other people involved.
These successful results, here and there in
Italy and at different levels of judgement, encourage the Ce.S.A.P. to keep working in a fair and honest way, as usual, to protect and support the victims of abuse and their families.