President Cristina Fernández said she would like to see “some more justice in Argentina” after referring to a court case she won against an Italian newspaper which in 2008 claimed that while in Rome she went on an extravagant shopping spree: “Hunger and dolce vita in Rome”.
“I don’t think there are judges capable of ruling in a similar way in this country. Some because they’re afraid, because they see everything (the media) makes up and they are afraid something similar may happen to them. Others because they are a part of the opposition even though they claim to be independent and others because they probably have skeletons in the closet,” she said.
While speaking at a ceremony at the Government House on Thursday, the President told the audience of her decision to press charges against Italian leading daily Corriere Della Sera over “slander” and that she will donate the money obtained from the ruling (40,000 Euros) to a Children’s hospital in La Plata.
“The ruling confirmed that it was indeed a crime through the press and fined them with over 40,000 Euros, which I will donate to a children’s hospital in La Plata,” she said.
Because of the article Cristina Fernandez demanded Italian journalist Maria Egizia Fiaschetti and Editor in chief Paolo Miel. In Italy the crime of slander on issues of public interest are presented at criminal courts although sentences can imply fines or economic compensations. The case was presented at the Rome criminal court under Magistrate Elena Scozzarela.
The article under the heading of “Hunger and Dolce Vita in Rome” was published when the Argentine leader was attending a world summit on food security at FAO. Supposedly Cristina Fernandez had made a series of expensive purchases in Bulgari for over 140,000 Euros.
At the end of last year Cristina Fernandez summoned by the magistrate in Rome declared that the article was false. She gave an account of her day and a half in Rome and complained that besides fabrications the article had offensive language not only towards her, but also against the elected president of Argentina. “It was written with clear and intentional malice”.
“The heading of the article which seemed copied from Italian film director Lina Wertmuller, and there was a clear intention of linking the fight against hunger with frivolity, or even worse with hypocrisy and double talks” said Cristina Fernandez in her statement.
“I believe very much in freedom of expression and opinion, but not in infamy”.