Lieberman 311 AP.
(photo credit: AP)
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein is due to announce within days his decision to indict, subject to a hearing, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman on charges of fraud, breach of trust, money laundering, and obstruction of justice. Sources inform ''Globes'' that Weinstein has decided not to indict Lieberman on bribery charges, and he is still wavering over charges of fraudulent receiving.
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The Attorney General's Office is scheduled to hold more meetings in the coming days on the wording of the indictment, and a decision will be announced within two weeks.
The Ministry of Justice believes that one of the difficulties it will face when the official decision is announced is the need to explain why the bribery charge was dropped. However, the attitude of the participants in the meetings with Weinstein is that, while bribery is a more serious charge than fraud and breach of trust, carrying a seven-year prison sentence, compared with three years for breach of trust, the breach of trust charge is actually the more significant crime that the legislature seeks to prevent in cases of public officials. This is because the banning of bribery is aimed at preventing the receiver of bribes from facing a conflict of interests in his public position, i.e. to commit a breach of trust.
The investigation against Lieberman has lasted five years. The Economics
Division of the State Prosecutor's Office has monitored the
investigation since it was opened in April 2006. The Israel Police
completed its investigation in August 2009, and recommended indicting
Lieberman on receiving bribes, aggravated fraudulent receiving, fraud,
breach of trust, obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and money
laundering. The police did not recommend indicting him for filing false
In December 2009, the State Prosecutor asked for a supplementary
investigation. At the same time, discussions began between State
Prosecutor Moshe Lador and then-attorney general Meni Mazuz. Mazuz was
reluctant to make a decision in the case before his term expired in
January 2010, and ultimately passed the decision to his successor. In
the past few weeks, Weinstein has held a number of meetings on the case
ahead of making his final decision. At these meetings, the police
recommendation and a legal opinion by the State Prosecutor's Economics
Division to accept the police's recommendation on most of the charges,
Lieberman has been a suspect for over a decade, but the current
investigation began in April 2006 on the basis of information obtained
by Mazuz. In January 2009, nearly three years later, the Police National
Fraud Unit arrested seven suspects and conducted searches of their
homes and offices. One of the arrested men was Lieberman's attorney,
The police said, "This was a complicated, multifaceted, and widespread
investigation in Israel and abroad, which involved a range of
investigations, that also involved international law."