PM Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara on his 65th birthday..
(photo credit: GPO)
Former Prime Minister’s Residence manager Meni Naftali on Tuesday carried out his threat to submit a defamation and slander lawsuit against close associates of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for claiming that Naftali had been responsible for excessive spending at the residence.
Naftali had issued an ultimatum that if those close to Netanyahu did not apologize, he would file a lawsuit.
The lawsuit names senior Netanyahu adviser Nir Hefetz, attorneys David Shimron, Shuli Eshbol, Ya’acov Buravsky and Yossi Cohen, and two employees of the residence. It does not target Netanyahu or Likud ministers Yuval Steinitz and Gilad Erdan, who have parliamentary immunity.
On Monday, Naftali found himself the subject of a police complaint when an Afula resident told police he had seen Naftali carrying crates of groceries to his brother-in-law and sister-in-law on a near-weekly basis between 2009 and 2012.
The brother- and sister-in-law lived in two separate apartments in the same building as the complainant, 54-year-old Avi Gabbai. The implication was that Naftali may have been taking groceries and other goods home from the official residence without approval.
Regarding the timing of the complaint – three years after the reported events – Gabbai’s lawyer Efraim Damari said his client had only realized who Naftali was after seeing him on TV this past week.
The same day that Gabbai and his attorney spoke to police investigators at the Lahav 433 headquarters in Lod, Naftali and his attorneys appeared at the headquarters to issue a formal complaint about death threats they said Naftali had received since last week.