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Israel court orders Olmert to compensate Netanyahu’s family for defamation

File – Former Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Olmert during a protest against Benjamin Netanyahu – Ilia Yefimovich/dpa – File

Israel’s acting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his family have won a defamation lawsuit against former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for calling ‘Bibi’s’ wife and son “mentally ill” in multiple interviews and refusing to apologize. .

The Netanyahu family sued Olmert and requested payment of 837,000 shekels (about 235,400 euros) for his statements, although the former prime minister insisted during the trial that all of them had received psychological treatment and requested the withdrawal of the claim.

Netanyahu’s wife, Sara, explained in June that the former prime minister “had crossed a ‘red line'” with his words. “He is not a journalist, but a former prime minister. Everything that was said is a pack of lies, so I told myself that was enough and that I had to file a lawsuit,” she said.

Finally, the court has indicated that the evidence presented on the actions of the Netanyahu family does not allow for an answer on his mental health.

Thus, Judge Amit Yariv has stated that “associating a certain behavior with a disease is a medical matter that cannot be determined by the court”, as reported by the Israeli newspaper ‘Haaretz’.

“Even if it were assumed that the statements of the witnesses are true, it is impossible to generate a diagnosis of mental illness from them,” he pointed out, while stressing that “there is no doubt that today, despite to the efforts of professionals, mental illness has a negative connotation in society, which imposes a stigma on patients”.

Therefore, Olmert, who was prime minister between 2006 and 2009, will have to pay 62,000 shekels (around 17,435 euros) in damages to the Netanyahu family. In this way, Netayahu will receive 20,000 shekels (approximately 5,625 euros), while the rest will go to his wife and his son Yair.

The lawsuit was filed after Olmert claimed in two interviews in 2021 that “what is irreparable is the mental illness of the prime minister, his wife and their son,” referring to Yair. “They need psychiatric treatment,” he said. Following the lawsuit, Olmert claimed that he was “entertained by this band of madmen.”

Olmert served a jail term after being found guilty of corruption when he was mayor of Jerusalem, before becoming prime minister. Netanyahu himself is on trial for alleged acts of corruption during his tenure.

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