Insider editor's Supreme Court appeal set for March 29

 ROME -- The Italian Supreme Court is scheduled to hear March 29  the appeal lodged in the Court of Cassation against the unfair conviction of Insider editor John Phillips for 'a criminal design' aimed at  'tarnishing the image' of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), court officials said Friday. 

The Rome Court of Appeal last year ordered Phillips to pay 5,400 euros more in legal costs. In all he has been ordered to pay as much as some 65,000 euros in legal costs and provisional civil damages.

 This sum is vastly disproportionate to the alleged crime of criminal libel for which the penal punishment handed down was reduced in the Court of Appeal to a mere 1000 euros.

 A second case that then FAO Director General José Graziano da Silva brought against Phillips was thrown out by a preliminary judge on the ground that there was no defamation and Insider’s articles were in the public interest.

Reporters without Borders condemnation of the FAO for trying to close us down is here

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