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
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.
Olmert’s lawsuit is
based on remarks the state prosecutor made in a February 2011 interview with
, which is also named as a respondent in the suit.
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.
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
However, Lador’s attorneys argued that it should be up to Olmert,
and not the prosecution, to prove that Lador acted maliciously.
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.