Sunday, 11 June 2017

Israeli court awards Netanyahus $32,000 in libel case


An Israeli court Sunday awarded Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife $ 32 , 500 in a libel case over a journalist ’ s claim she kicked him out of the car during a row .

Court documents said writer Igal Sarna was ordered to pay 60 , 000 shekels ( $ 17 , 000 , 15 , 000 euros ) in damages to Netanyahu and 40 , 000 shekels to his wife Sara , as well as a further 15 , 000 shekels for the couple ’ s court costs.


They had sued for 280 , 000 shekels.

The 50 - page ruling said Sarna wrote in March 2016 on his Facebook page that the couple had been travelling at night in a four -vehicle convoy from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv when it suddenly came to a halt .

“A man , no longer young , was cast out onto the highway amid shouting , ” the transcript quoted Sarna as writing .“A certain woman did not wish him to remain with her in the car , and so made a mockery of all the security and in fact of the whole state . ”

Appearing in court with his wife in March 2017, surrounded by bodyguards , Netanyahu said the story was a fabrication , describing it as “ so false , so absurd” .

In Sunday ’ s ruling , Judge Azaria Alkalai found Sarna ’ s allegations were not substantiated by witnesses .

In March , Sarna , of popular Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, said the sources for his account had refused to go public .He said his sources “do not want to come . I cannot force them to come . ”

Netanyahu wrote on his Facebook page on Sunday that “ truth and justice prevailed ”.
“If we were to sue all of those who libel us, we would have to go to court every day , ” he said.

The Netanyahus are a frequent topic of gossip and rumours among Israelis , and the premier has said he wanted the truth to be known in this instance .

The couple are also the subject of ongoing police investigations into suspicions of corruption and misuse of public funds .


AFP

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