'MK Hazan used hard drugs - but didn't sell them'

In defamation suit, court rules Likud MK did in fact consume hard drugs, but orders Channel 2 pay damages over claims he sold them as well.

Ido Ben Porat , | updated: 12:27 PM

Oren Hazan
Oren Hazan
Flash 90

A Tel Aviv district court ruled Tuesday on a defamation lawsuit by MK Oren Hazan (Likud) against Channel 2 and journalist Amit Segal, rejecting most of Hazan’s claims but awarding him 40,000 shekels ($10,400) over allegations he dealt drugs.

The suit came in response to a report published last year by Channel 2 which alleged that prior to his election to the Knesset, Hazan was seen consuming hard drugs while he served as manager of a hotel in Bulgaria.

The report further claimed that Hazan provided drugs to wealthy clients, and also arranged female escorts for some.

In Tuesday’s decision, the court ruled that there was in fact a basis to the claim that Hazan used hard drugs, but no for the assertion that he also sold such narcotics. For the latter allegation, Channel 2 has been ordered to pay the MK 40,000 shekels in compensation.

The court accepted the claims that Hazan had in fact managed a casino, despite his denials, but did not establish that he had secured prostitutes for the casino’s patrons.

Nevertheless, Segal was not ordered to pay damages, with the court ruling that he had shown no malice in his investigation and that his “responsible journalism” was thus protected.

Hazan had claimed damages in the amount of one million shekels ($260,000).