Italian police recently increased their protection of journalist Sigfrido Ranucci after he was allegedly threatened by members of the ´Ndrangheta organized crime group. (Photo: RAI -Radiotelevisione Italiana)

Italian police increase protection of journalist Sigfrido Ranucci after assassination plot revealed

In August 2021, Italian police placed Sigfrido Ranucci, host and deputy director of the Rome-based TV program “Report” on Italian public broadcaster RAI3, under 24-hour protection due to an alleged assassination plot by the ´Ndrangheta organized crime group, according to his employer and Ranucci, who communicated with CPJ via email.

Police learned about the plot by wiretapping conversations of prisoners in July 2021, according to Ranucci and the Rai report. Police allege that an imprisoned ´Ndrangheta drug trafficker hired hitmen to kill Ranucci, according to those sources.

Ranucci told CPJ that he has received partial police protection since 2009, with patrols monitoring his home and family on a daily basis. He said that police increased his protective measures in July when they first learned about the assassination plans, and then increased the measures to the maximum level in August.

Ranucci co-authored the 2010 book Il Patto (The Pact), an investigation into alleged relations between organized crime groups and Italian politicians. He told CPJ that he has hosted “Report” since 2017, and has covered issues including crime groups and their connections to politics, intelligence agencies, extremist movements, and other elements of Italian society.

CPJ emailed the national press department of the Italian police for comment, but did not receive any reply.