Israel: Israel Seeks 12-year Jail Term for Blogger Accused of Slandering Public Officials

June 10, 2019

The exceptional indictment contains 120 accusations against Lori Shem-Tov and others; the prosecutors apparently see this as a test case for online shaming

Supporters of Lori Shem-Tov demonstrate for her release, 2018.

Israel’s state prosecutor is seeking a 12-year prison sentence for blogger Lori Shem-Tov, who is accused of crimes including invasion of privacy and insulting civil servants, among them judges, in online publications.

At one meeting that Shem-Tov’s attorney held to discuss a plea bargain with Tel Aviv District Attorney officials, prosecutors reportedly insisted that she serve at least 10 years in prison. The district attorney’s office denied that report.

The indictment filed in April 2017 against Shem-Tov, along with fellow blogger Moti Leybel and attorney Zvi Zer, is unusual in scope. Covering 231 pages, it includes 120 accusations concerning internet activity. The three are accused of serious offenses of conspiracy to commit various crimes against social welfare, law enforcement and judicial officials; invasion of privacy; sexual harassment; insulting a civil servant; contempt of court; and violating gag orders relating to publicizing the names and images of minors.

Shem-Tov and Leybel are also accused of blackmailing a private lawyer to cut a deal with them, and threatened her that they would continue defaming her if she wouldn’t oblige them.

Israeli human rights lawyer Zvi Zer


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