An Israeli journalist has been ordered to pay 100,000 Israeli shekels (28,000 dollars) to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife over libel charges, a court statement said Sunday.
The Netanyahus had filed the suit over Facebook posts by Yedioth Ahronoth journalist Igal Sarna, one of which claimed that Netanyahu’s wife had thrown him out of the car on the side of the road after a domestic dispute.
In his ruling, judge Azaria Alcalay rejected the argument that Facebook posts should not be held to the same standards as works published by a newspaper and criticized the posts’ inflammatory tone.
Sarna said the ruling by the court in Tel Aviv should “be expected in these dark times” and vowed to continue fighting against Netanyahu’s attempts to silence the media, the Haaretz newspaper reported.
Israeli police questioned Yedioth Ahronoth publisher Arnon Mozes in January as part of a probe into allegations against Netanyahu that he tried to influence a newspaper publisher in exchange for favourable coverage. The Israeli leader has called the accusations groundless.