Netanyahu Testifies in Olmert Defamation Case


Former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu arrives for a court hearing on his lawsuit against former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, at the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court on Sunday. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu became the first witness to testify in a defamation case against his predecessor Ehud Olmert on Sunday.

Netanyahu rejected Olmert’s allegations that his family had a history of mental illnesses.

“I have no psychiatric history,” he told Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court Deputy President Amit Yarivin.

The defamation trial of Netanyahu and his family against Olmert started earlier in January with Netanyahu demanding Olmert pay nearly $261,000 of alleged damages for statements against Binyamin Netanyahu, his wife Sara and their son Yair’s mental health in two April 2021 interviews.

Earlier in February, the court rejected Olmert’s request for the Netanyahu family to disclose their health records. However, the court required the Netanyahus to answer non-private health questions, but not concerning their mental state.

The court accepted Netanyahu’s argument that the motion was an attempt at fishing for evidence, with the politician calling the request extortion to invade personal details. The defamation law also requires Olmert to prove his claims based on what he knew at the time when the claims were made and not upon acquiring new information during the trial.

Netanyahu himself is currently facing indictment in several trials for graft, fraud and breach of trust.

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