Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has filed a lawsuit against State Prosecutor Moshe Lador over "slanderous" comments he had made during a recent interview, Ynet reported Thursday.
In an interview with the Haaretz daily, published last weekend, Lador referred to a $75,000 loan that Olmert received 17 years ago from American businessman Joe Elmaliach as an "unusually outrageous story" and claimed that the former premier never returned the loan.
Olmert's attorneys said the remarks "severely violate" the former PM's "basic right as a defendant and a suspect to fair proceedings" and constitute slander.
Olmert is demanding NIS 150,000 (about $41,000) in compensation. The lawsuit, filed with the Tel Aviv Magistrates' Court, says "in a proper prosecution system Lador would have been content with being in charge of the criminal proceedings against Olmert and would have awaited the court's ruling. In a proper prosecution system Lador would have refrained from speaking against the defendant in the media when the State Prosecutor's Office still has to decide on the launching of another investigation against the defendant.
"In a proper prosecution system the state prosecutor would not have addressed issues that have yet to be investigated and in any case were not included in the charge sheet against the defendant," the lawsuit states.
In the lawsuit, Olmert also said "in a proper prosecution system the state prosecutor would not have turned the legal proceedings into a media battleground and would have admitted to his mistake and apologized for it."
Earlier this week Olmert's lawyers sent Lador a letter in which they claimed that his comments "seriously damage Olmert's reputation" because the loan from Elmaliach was returned in full in early July last year, and that this was reported to both the state comptroller and the court.
Olmert's attorneys demanded an apology on his behalf and compensation that would be donated to a "public cause." Lador refused to apologize.
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