Authorities search home and newsroom of Mafia investigative journalist

“The purpose is allegedly to seize documents concerning the reportage, where the journalist, Paolo Mondani, claimed the presence of Stefano Delle Chiaie, a member of the neo-fascist right, on the scene of the bombing,” said Ranucci, describing the search as “not hostile”. [Shutterstock/Andrea Raffin]

The Italian District Anti-Mafia Directorate searched on Tuesday, the newsroom and home of the journalist who authored the report on the Capaci Mafia attack, TV anchor Sigfrido Ranucci announced on social media.

The search came after Rai 3 broadcast the investigative reportage on Monday (23 May).

“The purpose is allegedly to seize documents concerning the reportage, where the journalist, Paolo Mondani, claimed the presence of Stefano Delle Chiaie, a member of the neo-fascist right, on the scene of the bombing,” said Ranucci, describing the search as “not hostile”.

Monday marked the 30th anniversary of the Capaci bombing, a terrorist attack by the Sicilian Mafia that killed Judge Giovanni Falcone, his wife Francesca Morvillo, and their three police escort agents.

The search “aims to verify the authenticity of the sources and does not in any way concern the journalist’s reporting activity,” said Caltanissetta prosecutor Salvatore De Luca. After completing the search, the anti-mafia directorate of Caltanissetta withdrew the search decree.

Amnesty International Italy already said it was concerned about the searches, recalling that “freedom of information also includes the right of protection of journalistic sources.”

“Searches raise the urgency of adopting more effective rules to protect journalists’ sources,” the Italian National Press Federation stated. It added that according to the European Court of Human Rights “such interference in media activities is tantamount to an attack on the right of citizens to be informed.”

According to Reporters Without Borders, Italy ranks 48th in terms of press freedom among 180 countries, down from 41st place in 2021.

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