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
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.
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.
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.