“There was no professional relationship between the journalist and the lawyer”
AGI – In view of the mission of the inspectors in via Arenula, the Trapani prosecutor returns to the case of the journalists who listen to phone calls that try to clarify while the investigation times of the NGOs operating in the Mediterranean run the risk of being extended even further more. At the same time, the prosecutor, Maurizio Agnello, issued a circular to the judicial police reaffirming the requirements established in article 103 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to be respected in the event of wiretapping in the conversations of lawyers. As AGI has learned, the investigations in via Arenula, which will begin electronically on May 17 and will continue on June 8 with the presence of inspectors at the Public Ministry, are part of an ‘ordinary’ activity already scheduled for March. 2020 and postponed due to planned restrictions for the Covid emergency. During the investigation by the Ministry of Justice inspectors, ‘extraordinary’ clarifications will be requested on the investigation into the alleged relationships between Libyan traffickers and humanitarian organizations Save the Children, Doctors without Borders and Jugend Rettet. There are 21 people under investigation, including team leaders from humanitarian organizations and members of the crew of the Iuventa, and of the Vos Hestia and Vos Prudence, owned by the Vroon shipping company. The investigation, according to the termination notice presented in early March, highlighted the “pre-established subdivision and division of international maritime areas off Libya,” the “psychological pressure on personnel involved in various capacities on board NGO ships in the question of collaboration with the police “, but also” the contacts and communications of the suspects with the ‘traffickers’ of human beings “. In recent weeks, the case has been at the center of five parliamentary issues, but also requests for clarification by the Inspection of the Ministry of Justice and the Prosecutor General of the Court of Cassation, the latter competent for disciplinary proceedings against the magistrates of Trapani. Four years after the seizure of the ship Iuventa, detained off the coast of Lampedusa on August 2, 2017, the investigation times of the Trapani Prosecutor’s Office are destined to be lengthened. In fact, on April 14, the investigating judge Emanuele Cersosimo, accepting the request of one of the suspects who wants to be questioned, ordered the translation of the ‘mother’s information into English, French, Spanish and German. This is the summary information presented on June 10, 2020, consisting of 651 pages and prepared by the agents of the Trapani Flying Squad, the Central Operational Service of Rome and the general command of the Port Authorities. The investigating judge suspended the procedural deadlines, as had happened for the realization of the evidentiary incident, carried out for the inspection of computer devices (smartphones, pen drives, computers, on-board detectors and go-pro used during the rescue) and concluded on the September 27, 2019. The case exploded, one month after the notification of the notice of conclusion of the investigations, as a result of the complaints of the accused, who after having X-rayed the 30 thousand pages filed by the Trapani prosecutors (prosecutor Deputy Agnello, alternate prosecutors Giulia Mucaria and Brunella Sardoni), had highlighted the presence among the acts of wiretapping of journalists and lawyers. A circumstance also relaunched by the European Federation of Journalists and the National Order, which defined it as “a disfigurement of professional secrecy.” Only in the following days it was learned that the only journalist who was subject to wiretapping was’ Nancy Porsia, never investigated during the investigation, ‘heard’ by investigators from July 1 to December 11, 2017, while other journalists were intercepted because ‘they were speaking to their colleague or other suspects. Specifically, a telephone call was reported intercepted between the journalist and the lawyer Michele Calantropo, as is clear from the brogliaccio filed by the investigators. “As of the date of the interview, on November 15, 2017, there was no professional relationship between the two interviewees,” Deputy Prosecutor Maurizio Agnello said today. And indeed, only on December 11, 2017 as a result of the lawyer Calantropo depositing the attached list of witnesses – continues the magistrate – in which he asks to enforce the Porsia, a request rejected by the Court in the February 12 hearing of 2018 ”. The reconstruction was rejected by the Palermo lawyer, who told AGI: “My relationship with journalist Nancy Porsia was professional from the beginning: I graduated as a lawyer and we discussed the professional activity, not for other reasons.” The relationship between the lawyer Calantropo and the journalist refers to the trial, which was ongoing in those months, of the alleged trafficker Medhanie Tesfamariam Behre, victim of an identity error, who in those months was charged before the judges of the court of ‘Assizes of Palermo.