Binyamin and Sara Netanyahu leave for the US..
(photo credit: AVI OHAYON - GPO)
Jerusalem Labor Court Judge Dita Pruginin ruled Monday that the trial in the lawsuit brought by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s former house manager against him, his wife and the Prime Minister’s Office will take place after the elections in order to give the PMO ample time to prepare.
However, the court also ruled that the affidavits in the case needed to be presented within 60 days, which is before the March 17 election date. The affidavits of Manny Naftali, the former manager of the prime minister’s residence, are to be filed within 30 days, and the affidavits by the defendants 30 days after that.
Naftali is suing Netanyahu, his wife Sara, the Prime Minister’s Office and Ezra Seidoff, the deputy director for operations and assets in the office, for NIS 1 million in damages for labor misconduct.
On Sunday, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman referenced the fact that the Jerusalem prosecutor’s office asked the court to postpone this lawsuit until after the elections.
Liberman added that he didn’t understand why the same principle – the need to be very sensitive in dealing with legal proceedings during an election campaign – did not apply to the arrests and investigations swirling around top functionaries in his Yisrael Beytenu party as well.
Pruginin set the date of the hearing for March 25, eight days after the elections. She said she agreed with the state’s argument that additional time was needed to answer Naftali’s claims. The hearing was originally scheduled to begin on January 8.
Explaining why she was not pushing off the whole proceeding until after the elections, Pruginin wrote that the court was committed to hearing all cases speedily and effectively, and that “elections in two-anda- half months does not justify holding up all the legal proceedings in the case until then.”
With that, she added that since all the affidavits will be presented to the court close to the date of the elections, it would not be right to hold hearings dealing with the evidence in the case so close to the election date.