Netanyahu testifies in libel suit against reporter

Benjamin Netanyahu has testified in a Tel Aviv court in a libel suit against a prominent Israeli journalist.

Igal Sarna is accused of inventing a story that Mr Netanyahu's wife Sara once kicked the Israeli leader out of their car during a late-night argument.

Mr Sarna, who writes for Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot, had posted the story on Facebook a year ago.

Mr and Mrs Netanyahu are suing him for damages of 280,000 shekels (£62,800), also demanding an apology and removal of the post from Facebook.

In the magistrates court, Mr Netanyahu, 67, said the report of the alleged incident was "ludicrous" and "preposterous".

He was quoted in Haaretz as saying: "Everything Sarna said was a lie - it didn't happen.

"Anyone who knows anything about motorcade security knows that something like that can't happen," he added.

The prime minister spoke forcefully in court, sometimes gesturing and at one point banging his fist on the stand as he said the reporter had "crossed the line".

Outside the court, Mr Netanyahu's lawyer, Yossi Cohen, said: "I think that the testimonies of Mr Prime Minister Netanyahu and his wife Mrs Netanyahu were credible, fulsome, amazing."

Mr Sarna told the court he had heard the story from a friend who heard it from another friend in the prime minister's security detail.

He said: "I am uncertain as to whether she threw him out or whether he ejected himself from the vehicle."

Mr Sarna's lawyer, Lior Epstein, said: "We went to court, asked the questions we need to ask, we will conclude and then court will decide."

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