Decision of the Court of Cassation, I Criminal Section, No. 47489 of 6 October 2015

The decision concerns the case of a person who disseminated documents praising the so-called Islamic State (IS) via the Internet, and was then sentenced in Italy for the offense ‘apologia for terrorism’. For the Court of Cassation, the decision of the judge on the merits was correct. In the first place, the documents in question did not contain, merely, information on the IS; they made it evident, rather, that the accused wished to support the IS criminal activity, and incited other persons to do so. Secondly, the argument of the defense that the acts of terrorism were planned to be done “in a foreign State” and were, thus, irrelevant to the Italian legal order, was erroneous. It is a matter of fact that the alleged Islamic State is, in reality, a terrorist organization as it results from many decisions of the UN Security Council, which are mandatory in Italy. As a consequence, the norms of Italian penal code that criminalize participation in acts of international terrorism applied in the case, given that these norms cover any acts of terrorism committed, at least in part, on Italian territory. Finally, publicity, which is a prerequisite of the offense of apologia of a crime, had been correctly ascertained by the judge on the merits, because the use of the Internet to advocate a crime does not substantially differ from the apologia of crimes in the press.

  • Original language: Italiano