On April 2014, the Court of Milan sentenced a thoracic surgeon to life in prison for first-degree murder. The Italian judges have found that the doctor had performed some 90 unnecessary surgeries - which led to the death of four elderly patients - for no other reason than making a profit. The conviction was then appealed before the Milan Court of Appeal and the case is still ongoing.
The scandal surrounding the clinic where the surgical operations took place - dubbed the ''clinic of horrors'' by Italian media - broke in May 2008 and captured the attention of the Italian public ever since.
On October 2014, the Italian former surgeon sued the Italian public broadcaster RAI before the Court of Rome, calling for a preliminary injunction against a yet-to-be-released TV movie based on the ''clinic of horrors'' story. In the surgeon’s opinion, the TV movie at issue would have irreparably affected his reputation and would have constituted a violation of his right to a fair trial.
In rejecting the claimant’s request, the Court of Rome stated that, under Italian law, everyone may conceive works (e.g. TV movies) showing events subject matter of uncompleted criminal proceedings from a different perspective and aiming at stimulating critical reflections with the public.
The decision at issue confirmed then that freedom of speech always prevails over a hypothetical offense and preliminary injunctions against unpublished works are unconstitutional prior restraints.