JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Tel Aviv court rejected most of a libel lawsuit filed by Likud lawmaker Oren Hazan against an Israeli television station, saying the Knesset member used hard drugs and procured prostitutes while serving as a casino manager in Bulgaria.
The Magistrate’s Court did award Hazan more than $10,000 for what it called false claims that Hazan also acted as a drug dealer for his casino clients. He had sought more than $260,000 in damages from the Channel 2 report, most of which the court called “responsible, serious journalism and reflected the reality as it was.”
The June 2015 report by Amit Segal — titled “Prostitutes, drugs and the deputy speaker of the Knesset” — cited Israeli tourists who said they did the drugs with Hazan at the casino. His former driver said he went on Hazan’s behalf to a local strip club to hire prostitutes. The strip club manager in an interview confirmed that Hazan sent for women, and she laughed when she heard Hazan had become an Israeli lawmaker.
Allegations against Hazan during his freshman year in the Knesset run the gamut from drugs to sexual assault to bigotry.
Hazan is the son of former Likud lawmaker Yehiel Hazan, who was convicted of forgery, fraud and breach of trust after double voting in the Knesset in 2003 and then trying to cover it up. He was sentenced to four months of community service and received a six-month suspended prison term.