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Prosecutor in Netanyahu trial files police complaint over fresh threat to her son

Likud activist posted video seeking location of Liat Ben-Ari’s son; complaint comes two days after court ordered another Likud supporter to stop threatening attorney

A hearing at the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court about the prosecutor's request to issue a restraining order against Likud activist Orly Lev, who harassed the lead prosecutor in Benjamin Netanyahu's trial, Liat Ben-Ari, on December 1, 2022, in Tel Aviv. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
A hearing at the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court about the prosecutor's request to issue a restraining order against Likud activist Orly Lev, who harassed the lead prosecutor in Benjamin Netanyahu's trial, Liat Ben-Ari, on December 1, 2022, in Tel Aviv. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

The lead prosecutor in Benjamin Netanyahu’s criminal trial filed an incitement complaint to police on Sunday over threats by a Likud operative against her son.

In her complaint, Liat Ben-Ari told the Lahav 433 investigative unit that Likud activist Rami Ben-Yehuda threatened her and her son in a video he posted, saying he was looking for him and asking where he was.

“Where is your son? Tell us where your son disappeared. Shwekey, where have you gone?” Ben-Yehuda said in the online video, referring to Ben-Ari’s son, Tomer Shwekey.

Ben-Ari reportedly considered quitting the position due to the wave of threats and vitriol directed at her by supporters of the former prime minister since the trial began in 2020. Security around her was increased that summer after police reportedly received intelligence that the threat had become more serious.

The former prime minister’s defenders have harshly criticized Ben-Ari and other members of the justice system and law enforcement community whom they accuse, without evidence, of attempting to unseat Netanyahu for political motives.

Ben-Yehuda is known for his attack dog tactics against political rivals and opponents of the party. He was suspended from the Likud in September after physically assaulting anti-Netanyahu protesters, and placed under a restraining order last year for verbally abusing the wife of New Hope MK Ze’ev Elkin.

Two days ago, the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court handed a restraining order to Likud activist Orly Levy, barring her from making posts, and forcing her to delete existing online remarks harassing the prosecutor and her son.

Netanyahu is on trial in three corruption cases. He faces charges of fraud and breach of trust in Case 1000 and in Case 2000, and charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust in Case 4000. He denies wrongdoing and says the charges were fabricated in a political coup led by the police and state prosecution, though he has provided no evidence for such extraordinary assertions.

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