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Meretz asks the High Court to fire FM Liberman

December 14, 2012 14:52

Gal-On petitions for FM's resignation after decision to indict him for fraud, breach of trust; Liberman: I don't have to resign.

Zehava Gal-On at Meretz primaries.

Zehava Gal-On 370. (photo credit:Courtesy Meretz)

In the wake of his indictment for fraud and breach of public trust, Meretz party leader Zehava Gal-On filed a petition with the High Court of Justice for an order firing Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman.

More specifically, the petition asks the court to order Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to fire Liberman, to order Liberman himself to resign and to order Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein to make a finding that the crimes that Liberman is accused of carry a finding of moral turpitude compelling his resignation.

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Gal-On said through her attorneys that fraud and breach of public trust harm the very basis of proper conduct in public service which has led to a significant fall in the public’s faith in its representatives and democracy.

She also said that the foreign minister continuing to serve in office would send an unmistakable message to Israel’s citizens that Israel’s leaders “are not deterred from fraud and breach of public trust” and that those who “commit grave acts are fit [to lead" the country.

Gal-On’s petition cites a line of cases in support of characterizing Liberman’s actions as constituting moral turpitude.

The Meretz party leader added that Liberman’s acts would undermine the public’s ability to trust his actions.

On Thursday, Attorney-General Weinstein announced that he would charge the foreign minister with fraud and breach of the public trust, while clearing him on more serious allegations including money-laundering and bribery.

The indictment focuses on alleged obstruction of justice in Liberman’s efforts in 2009 to promote former ambassador to Belarus Ze’ev Ben-Aryeh, who had leaked him privileged information about a police probe pertaining to Liberman.

The foreign minister responded defiantly to the decision to indict him, saying that according to legal opinion given to him, he does not have to resign.

Liberman denied all wrongdoing and said no promotion had been given to Ben- Aryeh, nor was there any conflict of interest.

He added that while in the past he had vowed to resign immediately if indicted “back then that dealt with a serious indictment, this is a different case.”
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