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Supreme Court rejects Yair Netanyahu’s appeal against NIS 250k fine

Yair Netanyahu, son of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, seen in court in Tel Aviv on December 10, 2018, (FLASH90)
Yair Netanyahu, son of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, seen in court in Tel Aviv on December 10, 2018, (FLASH90)

The Supreme Court throws out an appeal filed by Benjamin Netanyahu’s son Yair against a lower court ruling that had upheld a libel ruling against him, meaning he will have to pay hundreds of thousands of shekels in compensation to a journalist and cover the court fees.

Yair Netanyahu claimed the original ruling against him was in bad faith as he never received court notification about the libel lawsuit filed by former Walla news site editor Avi Alkalay.

Netanyahu was at the time living with his parents at the prime minister’s official residence in Jerusalem rather than in the family apartment in the capital or their Caesarea home. Though the letter was sent to the official residence, it was not ultimately delivered to Netanyahu, allegedly due to protocols against staff accepting registered letters at the site.

Because Netanyahu never filed a statement of defense, the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court automatically ruled in favor of Alkalay in March 2020.

Netanyahu appealed that decision to the Tel Aviv District Court, which rejected the appeal in July 2021, saying the registered letter was sent to the correct location under the circumstances and told the former premier’s son to compensate Alkalay NIS 250,000 (approximately $73,000), and pay an additional NIS 29,250 (approximately $8,500) in court fees.

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