Sara Netanyahu sues "Ma'ariv" for libel

The prime minister's wife has also filed a complaint against Hebrew daily "Yediot Ahronot."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's wife, Sara, has filed a NIS 1 million lawsuit against Hebrew daily "Ma'ariv", its editor-in-chief, Yoav Tzur, and correspondent Ben Caspit for libel. The paper ran a story about the firing of the gardener at the Prime Minister's residence in Jerusalem.

Sara Netanyahu has also filed a complaint with the Israel Press Council against Hebrew daily "Yediot Ahronot" for its extraordinary report about the lawsuit filed by aide Lilian Peretz.

Sara Netanyahu claims that Ben Caspit's story in "Ma'ariv's" Friday edition said that when the Netanyahu's moved into the Prime Minister's residence, "they fired the gardener, who was over 70, the father of soldier killed in combat, who raked the dry leaves and handled basic gardening tasks for less than the minimum wage."

Sara Netanyahu claims that the story "is a lie without an iota of truth. I never fired the gardener who worked at the Prime Minister's residence, and he still works there as a gardener, as he has always done."

Sara Netanyahu claims that "Ma'ariv" never bothered to ask for her response before publishing the article, and that the correspondent and paper acted maliciously to humiliate her "and create an image of a heartless woman who assaults the weak, is cruel to an aged gardener, and fires for no reason a man who lost his son in combat."

Sara Netanyahu is demanding compensation from "Ma'ariv", and for the paper to print an apology in a prominent place.

"Ma'ariv" has not yet filed a statement of defense. The paper said in response, "We have not yet received the statement of claim. When we receive it, we'll respond in court."

In the complaint against "Yediot Ahronot", Sara Netanyahu claims that the report about Lilian Peretz's lawsuit filed with the Labor Court against her violated journalistic ethics, because the story covered half the front page and two full inside pages, while the paper did not even bother to ask for a response.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on January 25, 2010

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2010

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