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Italian Insider legal defense fund

€6,260 of €8,000 goal

Raised by 84 people in 13 months
Created June 1, 2018

Italian Insider Chief Editor John Phillips is appealing for donations to help pay legal costs in a press freedom battle at the Rome Tribunal court against the FAO to prevent the UN agency silencing the English-language newspaper's unique reporting on corruption and mismanagement.

Phillips faces a possible prison sentence and hundreds of thousands of euros in civil damages if he is convicted  in the defamation case brought against him by the FAO Director General, José Graziano da Silva, for allegedly tarnishing the image of the FAO through the newspaper's investigative reporting.

 The Insider is appealing for readers and well wishers to donate, anonymously if they wish, to help the Insider cover legal and legal translation costs of thousands of euros in the case being heard next at the Rome Tribunal court on July 9, 2019, at 12 a.m. 

 The attack on the newspaper by the FAO threatens to drive the Insider out of business, land Phillips in prison under Italy's antiquated libel laws and set a dangerous precedent in preventing reporting on wrongdoing within the United Nations.
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Dear Friends,
With just 19 days to go before my trial at the Rome Tribunal resumes on criminal charges of defaming the FAO, the opaque nature of this Sunday's FAO election underlines the need for the Italian Insider's independent reporting on the UN food agencies to continue.
Nature Magazine comments today that "The FAO election process means that the process is rife with geopolitics and political horse-trading. China in particular is reported to be unabashedly leveraging its influence and its investments in its massive Belt and Road Initiative, to get votes for its candidate. "
https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-01902-3?fbclid=IwAR1qqwqRxVuPWplIsy629lMktdfls9zckMsK-Y6JnnkT6qsHghSO24T_NTs
The Solicitors' International Human Rights' Group for its part has echoed Reporters without Borders condemnation of the FAO for "disproportionate" judicial harrasment of the Insider chief editor
https://sites.google.com/a/sihrg.org/solicitors-international-human-rights-group/rsf-report
As the climax of the trial approaches, your support is essential so that we can pay travel costs of a brave whistleblower due to testify on my behalf as a defense witness July 9, NM. and to pay our mushrooming legal bills due to this trial and the second one that FAO DG Jose Graziano da Silva has brought against us. Thank you for your support, Best rgrds
John Phillips
Editor in chief
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Friends: There are just 30 days until the resumption July 9 of Insider chief editor John Phillips' trial at the Rome Tribunal on criminal libel charges brought by FAO chief José Graziano da Silva.
We need your support to pay for the travel costs from Asia of a whistleblower, NM, who has courageously agreed to testify as a defense witness in the hearing in front of Judge Riva next month.
Our legal fees are not as high as those of the expensive lawyers that Graziano and four of his executives are using, paid for with donor funds earmarked for the poor, but it is costing us to fight and win this battle. FAO chef de cabinet Mario Lubetkin thought it would be a pushover to silence us when he persuaded Graziano to sue us in violation of the UN charter commitment to press freedom. See Reporters without Borders condemnation of the FAO case against us:
https://www.rsf-es.org/news/italia-una-agencia-de-la-onu-se-querella-contra-el-periodista-john-phillips-editor-de-italian-insider/
Three years after the trial opened Italian Insider continues to publish both online www.italianinsider.it and in print despite repeated attempts by FAO lawyers to demand we be closed down. As Graziano connives to try and arrange control of the FAO by the Chinese communist party candidate in this month's elections our independent reporting is more important than ever. Watch my interview with the New American attached for more! ... kind rgrds
John Phillips
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"Under Graziano da Silva, FAO has also been accused of becoming more authoritarian," the South China Post reports today.

"It is currently pursuing through the courts for libel the editor of Italian Insider for stories criticising some of FAO’s 'unethical' hiring practices."

https://www.scmp.com/…/world-poised-secret-ballot-could-pic…

We urgently need financial support for legal and defense witness costs as we prepare for the next hearing of the trial against Italian Insider Editor John Phillips due to resume in the Rome Tribunal on July 9 on charges of besmirching the FAO image.

Best regards

John
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Dear friends,

As the climax of my trial brought by the Food and Agriculture Organisation on criminal libel charges at the next hearing July 9 approaches, China is bribing Cameroon and other African and latin American states to support its bid to control the FAO in the June 23 election of a new director general, making independent reporting of the UN agency more important than ever.

Great thanks to Alex Newman of the New American magazine for highlighting how the Chinese Communist party is taking over more of the UN and how its Marxist totalitarian philosophy would continue the destruction of the FAO begun by José Graziano da Silva, who has sought to silence the Insider with judicial harassment condemned on Friday by the International Federation of Journalists.
https://www.thenewamerican.com/world-news/asia/item/31943-communist-party-boasts-it-controls-chinese-un-officials?fbclid=IwAR3SYCiWLWqxpKePMR2IiLsZh6RryyQoIjVjsW0aGOtym-UrBOTmgkHS1KE#

Your support is essential so that we can pay the travel costs of an FAO whistleblower due to testify at the July 9 trial as well as our mushrooming legal expenses for this trial and a second case Graziano has brought against me for more recent articles.

Graziano has bilked donor funds earmarked for the poor and hungry to pay a barrage of five expensive lawyers arguing that the Insider besmirched the image of the FAO and four senior FAO executives.

Support from our readers is essential to beat back this attempt to silence the free press. We look forward with your help to celebrating with you in October the 10th anniversary of the foundation of the Italian Insider.

John Phillips
Editor in chief
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€6,260 of €8,000 goal

Raised by 84 people in 13 months
Created June 1, 2018
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