Olmert Drops Libel Suit After State Prosecutor Apologizes

The ex-PM brought a libel suit against Moshe Lador 18 months ago, following statements he made in an interview with Haaretz.

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert informed Tel Aviv's Magistrate's Court on Wednesday that he was withdrawing a libel suit he brought against State Prosecutor Moshe Lador 18 months ago, after his attorneys received a letter from Lador apologizing for any offense he might have caused Olmert.

Olmert brought a libel suit against Lador following statements that the State Prosecutor made in an interview with Haaretz. The chief claim by the former prime minister centered on Lador’s statement that the fact that Olmert had not returned the loan he took from his friend, American businessman Joe Almaliah, was “an extraordinarily scandalous story.”

Olmert claimed in the suit that he had returned the loan.

In the letter, which was sent to Olmert's legal representatives as part of a settlement between the two sides, Lador wrote, "I am sorry that while I was giving an interview to Haaretz I was not aware of the report Mr. Olmert had submitted to the State Comptroller in July 2010, which stated that in July of that same year he repaid the money he received from Dr. Almaliah in 1993. A copy of the report was submitted to the court in July 2010 as evidence in Mr. Olmert’s trial.”

“As for the interview as a whole,” the letter continues, “my intention was to report on the activities and positions of the state prosecution as these were presented in court, by answering questions, some of which also related to cases involving public figures. In my statements about Mr. Olmert, there was no intention to cause harm in any way. In any case, I would like to say that I am sorry if Mr. Olmert was offended by my words.”

Olmert’s attorney, Eli Zohar, responded on Wednesday by saying: “The State Prosecutor apologized to Mr. Olmert for the untrue statements he made. It was the right thing to do, and we were expecting him to do so.”

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