Competence: Penal Court
Co-charged: Girelli Albino
Cause: print offence
Masthead: Sulle sponde del Mincio
Drawing: Date: 02/10/1897
Caption: Pro libertate
Sentence: 10 Lire penalty, then granted amnesty
Notes: documentation c/o the Mantua State Archive
TRANSCRIPTION OF PROCESS N. 2
In name of His Majesty Umberto I King of Italy The Civil and Criminal Court of Mantua Seating the Distinguished Sirs Lawyer Segre Alberto Foreman of the Jury Lawyer Besozzi Cav. Eugenio Lower Court Judge Lawyer Cappo Gio Battista Bailiff
Has pronounced the following sentence in criminal cause for the petition intent against
Girelli Albino was Giovanni, of age 55, born in Pescantina and resident in Mantua, typographer. Scalarini Giuseppe of Rainero, of age 24, born and resident in Mantua, drawer, heard for charged appearance mandate
-Girelli for an offence concerning Articles 2-3 of the press Edict for not having specified the year in the printed “Pro Libertate” supplement to “Sponda del Mincio,” coming from his printing house
-Scalarini for an offence concerning Articles 65-66 of the Public Safety law in force for having distributed, and having someone distribute freely the print mentioned above in a public place, without a Public Safety’s authorization licence
Subsequently to today’s oral public debate, held against of the accused, having heard the public minister’s oral conclusions, having heard the defender’s, or better the defenders of the accused and the accused themselves, that, one after the other had the first and last word.
Reading the acts and the ritual documents:
Considering that in the first days of October 1897, having the Ro Prefect of Mantua prohibited a protest meeting against the bill on compulsory residence, the local Socialist party commissioned the drawer Mr. Giuseppe Scalarini to draw a satirical sketch stigmatizing the action of the Governmental Authority through 23 figurative signs.
This said, Mr. Scalarini imprinted a drawing in acts entitled “Pro patria” on a lithographic stone, appending on one of the upper corners the writing “supplement to Sponde del Mincio” as well as the address of the Girelli lithography, Vicolo S. Logino 1, on another corner; omitting the year in which this drawing was lithographed.
On October 2nd of the same year, the repeated Mr. Scalarini collected the copies of the “Pro patria” already done at the Litografia Girelli and three days later he gave them out for free and mostly in a clandestine manner having them pass through the cracks of the still closed shopsand homes, and putting them on the tables of cafès and other public practices. Considering the order of the local political Authority, the divulgation of such sketch was interrupted, some copies that had already been handed to the public were confiscated, and the printer and drawer of the "Pro libertate" number were reported to the Legal Authroity. Assuming the acts for which these people are in charge, they were called today in order to reply to: the 1st contravention to the Aricles 2-3 of the Print edict in force, the 2nd to the Articles 65-66 of the Public Security law in force.
Having undertaken the acts charged to these people, they were today called to reply to: the 1st contravention of articles 2-3 of the Print edict in force, the 2nd of Articles 65-66 of the Public Security law in force, that the charged Girelli, both in the preliminary written investigation, and in today's oral debate, recognized how the drawing in question, completed in his workshop, has at the bottom of the page the name of the Lithography, where it was imprinted, as well as the address of the city, the street and the home where the Lithography is, but doesn't have the indication of the year as it is strictly prescribed by the above-quoted Article 2 of the Law on Print. To his excuse, Girelli observed that the pure and simple omission of the indication of the year, when all the other are present in the concrete body, isn't sufficient to demonstrate his will to violate the law arrangement… and on the contrary, this demonstrated his opposing will in getting a fine. The fact that the stone with the drawing in question was taken in his workshop by the drawer Scalarini himself, who was an expert in such jobs, led him to be completely trustworthy that the drawer himself imprinted it on the drawing following all the indications as wanted by the pre-quoted Article 2 of the Print Edict. These exceptions don't hold up. The first one because the disposition, frequently recalled by the law disposition for which the excision of one of the actions above specified, for which the printer should reply to the convention, is obligatory, and the second because it is known that even the demonstrated negligence of the agent isn't sufficient to take away the willingness of the fact that he is violating a disposition to contravention - it occurs that, for unquestioned law, there is a positive fact in him demonstrating an opposing willingness to violate the law, that in the case that… cannot be said as verified.
Regarding Scalarini, he claims that the dispositions of Articles 65-66 of the Public Security law in force don't apply to his situation, in how the drawing "Pro libertate," was nothing other than a supplement to the weekly periodical "Sulle sponde del Mincio." The dispositions reported above refer to periodical print as Article 65… states. And to demonstrate that it truly was a supplement to the newspaper previously mentioned, Scalarini obseved that such an indication was imprinted on the drawing itself, and then again noted that the same drawing was presented the day before its publication at the local office of the Royal Attorney's Office to Mr. Marco Attilio, Editor in Chief of the periodical "Sulle rive del Mincio." Expected that the Court isn't firmly convinced of these exceptions for the only and sufficient reason that it doesn't believe that Scalarini's assertion is true. And truly the two presumptions on which the defense of these people is based aren't well-grounded; it isn't in fact sufficient for just any drawing, only because it has imprinted "supplement" to Newspaper "X" or "Y" to be truly so, and to be covered by the periodical, of which it claims to be the supplement's, defense. More specifically, furthermore beyond this simple indication (imprinted in an almost intelligible way in a corner of the drawing), it isn't possible to detect any other reference and analogy with the newspaper "Sulle sponde del Mincio" on the drawing, that doesn't even have the name of the editor in chief, considering that, if it were a periodical publication (as claimed) it would still be necessary according to Article 41 of the Print Edict. But also well-known and established facts have confirmed the conviction of the Court that the newspaper "Sulle sponde del Mincio" is a purely literal periodical, that printed in the workshop in front came out with the drawing "Pro libertate." Nor can the College surely consider on an opposite notice that (of which Scalarini is a part of) the Editor of the "Sulle sponde del Mincio" presented the same people with the drawing "Pro libertate" at the local Office of Royal Proxy from the act declaration done by the Secretary of this Office, noting instead that this did happen, but that it isn't sure that the Editor himself declared that it was a supplement of the newspaper for which he was responsible. Finally the consideration that the impression of the drawing in question isn't in any analogy of characters, and that the nature of the periodical of which it was proclaimed to be a supplement and the new, almost illegal distribution method are all circumstances that reaffirm much more the Court's conviction that the aim was to dispatch the Law publishing a thought manifestation through figurative drawings, without previously obeying to the arrangement established by Article 65 of Public Security law, using for such aim the excuse that it was the supplement of a periodical newspaper for which the Court, for unexpressed reasons, didn't remain convinced of the truth of this statement but that instead Scalarini should respond to the fine that had been ascribed to him.
Considering that the penalty is equally commensurate in 100 Lire fines for Girelli, according to Article 3 of the Print Edict, a fine that must, according to Article 59 of the same code,be diminished by one sixth; the fine for Scalarini is 10 Lire considering Articles 2 and 3 of the Print Edict of March 20th 1848; 64 and 66 of the Public Security law 443 and 59 Penal Code - 397 and 558 Penal procedure Code Article 23 of the coordination dispositions to focus on the Penal Code pleads Girelli Albino and Scalarini Giuseppe guilty of their respectfully ascribed fines and condemns them; the first to a fine of 83 Lire and the second to a fine of 10 Lire… in case of insolvency, according to the law, as well as being held in joint and several liability for the reparation of the court expenses and the fixed sentence tax.
Mantua, February 18th 1898
Three signatures follow
With declaratory judgement on March 21st 1898 of Section… in Brescia on March 28th 1898… amnesty grated with the Royal decree on March 3rd 1898 the sentences are revoked.