The journalist Roberto Saviano was found guilty of using derogatory words in an interview before she became the PM.
What Saviano Actually Said?
According to the BBC, Saviano criticized the current Prime Minister for her comments over charity migrant vessels.
The Voice of America reported that Saviano called the Prime Minister “a bastard” and another far-right politician.
Meloni’s lawyers said the remarks were an insult and not a criticism. Saviano also faces three years imprisonment for criticizing Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini.
Free Speech Groups Condemned The Fine
PEN International, a free speech advocacy group, condemned the verdict and urged the Italian government to repeal specific laws.
As per Italian law, cases that include defamation can land critics and journalists in prison for 3 years. PEN International said the verdict is a clear warning to all the journalists critical of the government.