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Lador apologizes to Olmert, ending defamation suit

July 4, 2012 15:28

In letter filed to TA court, state attorney says he never intended to harm Olmert in a 2011 'Ha'aretz' interview.

Ehud Olmert arrives at J'lem court for trial

Olmert arriving at trial 311. (photo credit:Marc Israel Sellem)

State Attorney Moshe Lador submitted to the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court an apology to former prime minister Ehud Olmert on Wednesday, thereby ending a defamation suit the later filed over a 2011 newspaper interview.

Following an April 2012 court order to take the dispute to arbitration, Lador apologized and clarified that he never intended to harm Olmert in the Haaretz interview.

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In the interview, Lador described a $75,000 loan Olmert had allegedly received from American businessman Josef Elmaliach in 1993 as “extraordinarily scandalous,” and claimed that Olmert had yet to return the money.

After Olmert filed his defamation suit, the state argued that the Lador had immunity from prosecution because he gave the Haaretz interview in his capacity as state attorney.

When the magistrate’s court rejected Lador’s argument, the state attorney appealed the decision in the Tel Aviv District Court.

In January, however, District Court Judge Eitan Orenstein upheld the magistrate’s court ruling, saying that Lador could not be granted immunity from prosecution simply on the grounds that he is a public servant.

Orenstein took issue with the fact that the immunity request claims Lador had not acted maliciously when giving the interview, and said that Deputy Attorney-General Sarit Dana, who made the request, had never actually spoken to Lador about what his “emotional state” had been when he gave the interview.

The judge questioned how the court could determine whether Lador had “malicious intent” when he gave the interview.

Joanna Paraszczuk contributed to this report.
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