The Jerusalem District Court ruled this morning (Sunday) that Minister Regev was distributed by Sefi Ovadia and News 13 for NIS 150,000 after it was determined that they published defamation 5 years ago.
Minister Regev referred to the court’s decision: “This morning, the Jerusalem District Court ruled in a panel of 3 judges, which ruled, unanimously, that Channel 10 (today Channel 13) and reporter Sefi Ovadia published serious defamation and must compensate them. Me in the total amount of 150,000 NIS.
Today, the defamation lawsuit I filed 5 years ago ended, through attorneys Elad Eisenberg and Hagai Habib from the firm of Orlansky, Eisenberg, Mozson & Co., against Channel 10 (today Channel 13) and the reporter Sefi Ovadia in my sharp and clear victory. The Jerusalem District Court, composed of 3 judges, ruled unanimously, that I should accept the appeal I filed against the judgment of the Magistrate’s Court, and order the channel and the reporter Sefi Ovadia to pay me a total of NIS 150,000 and also reimburse me for the expenses I paid following the erroneous judgment given by the Magistrate’s Court.
5 years ago about 7 articles were published over 3 days in which I was accused, for no wrong in my hand, of illegally transferring millions to an advertising agency, whose owner was supposedly an associate of mine even though I had no prior acquaintance with him. I went through a journey of blackening and defamation. Drink my blood, attribute to me a transfer to an acquaintance that was not and was not created and all the media conducted a wild attack that threatened to harm my good name, my dignity and public integrity. My path has always been and will remain, honest and faithful to the public interest and your mission as citizens of Israel. I am glad that the district court has today ruled in a sharp, clear and decisive manner that these are publications that have included serious defamation, of the “highest degree”. The district court further ruled that the advertising that was “intimate” or “prior acquaintance” between me and the owner of the advertising office is a lie and therefore the channel and its employees’ thresholds can not enjoy the protection of the truth in advertising. The district court also ruled that the channel and its employees’ thresholds did not have the protection of “responsible journalism”, in part due to “failure to conduct a proper journalistic investigation” on this issue.
I believe that criticism and freedom of the press are important and constitute fundamental principles in a democratic regime, but the freedom of the press is not the freedom to slander and publish baseless lies. That is why I went to the legal battle 5 years ago in order to set a clear standard regarding the relationship between the media and their subjects of coverage, so that the right of a public figure to a good name and fair coverage will also be anchored. And I succeeded.
I thank everyone who was a partner in this long journey that ended today and especially my lawyers, who worked nights and nights to publish my justice. ”