Friday 17 November 2017

Claim of row with wife 'gross lie', says Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara arrive at court
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara arrive at court

Maayan Lubell in Tel Aviv

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife have testified in court that a journalist had invented a story that Sara Netanyahu once ordered her husband out of their car during a row.

Mr Netanyahu (67) described the report of the alleged incident as "ludicrous", "preposterous" and a complete fabrication.

Igal Sarna wrote on his Facebook page a year ago that an angry Mrs Netanyahu ordered the prime minister's convoy to stop on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway in the middle of the night because she did not want him in the car any longer.

Mr Sarna said he had heard the story from a friend who heard it from another friend in the prime minister's security detail. He had decided not to call witnesses to substantiate his allegations so as not to get anyone in trouble.

The original Facebook post gained only 1,500 shares, but the court case has garnered far more attention.

It has also raised questions about the influence of Mrs Netanyahu (58) in the prime minister's administration. Over the years, she has been involved in a number of lawsuits, either as a plaintiff or a defendant.

The prime minister spoke animatedly in court.

"He crossed the line," Mr Netanyahu said of Mr Sarna, banging his fist on the stand. "It's a gross lie, absurd."

Asked whether he always told the truth on Facebook, a medium the prime minister uses almost daily, the prime minister replied: "I try."

The judge would not allow Mr Sarna's lawyers to ask the couple about their relationship or past incidents.

The Netanyahus are seeking damages of 280,000 shekels (€71,000), an apology and removal of Mr Sarna's Facebook post.

Irish Independent

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