Court: Lador not immune, will stand trial in Olmert case

Ruling upholds decision by TA Magistrates’ Court saying Lador not be granted immunity from prosecution simply because he is a public servant.

January 12, 2012 06:51
1 minute read.
Former PM Ehud Olmert in court [file photo]

Former prime minister Ehud Olmert with lawyer in court 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

The Tel Aviv District Court on Wednesday ruled that State Prosecutor Moshe Lador will not be immune from a slander suit filed by former prime minister Ehud Olmert.

The ruling upholds a decision made last October by the Tel Aviv Magistrates’ Court, which ruled that Lador not be granted immunity from prosecution simply because he is a public servant.

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Olmert’s lawsuit is based on remarks the state prosecutor made in a February 2011 interview with Haaretz, which is also named as a respondent in the suit.

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.

In a previous hearing, Judge Eitan Orenstein criticized the State Attorney’s Office’s request to grant Lador immunity.

Orenstein took issue with the fact that the request claims that 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.

“I say, anyone who claims thus must have a basis [for that claim],” the judge remarked, and said that the prosecution should have filed an affidavit to that effect.

However, Lador’s attorneys argued that it should be up to Olmert, and not the prosecution, to prove that Lador acted maliciously.

The former prime minister, who is currently standing trial in the Jerusalem District Court on a string of corruption allegations, all of which he denies, said that Lador’s remarks about an ongoing lawsuit could affect the court and would be heard by those judges hearing Olmert’s case.

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